Does Rumination Function as a Longitudinal Mediator Between Mindfulness and Depression?

Abstract

Although concurrent associations among dispositional mindfulness, rumination, and depression have been identified, lacking is a study that longitudinally examines the relationships among these three constructs in a non-clinical sample of adults. We specifically sought to determine whether rumination mediates the expected negative association between mindfulness and depressive symptoms across time. A community sample of 483 adults completed self-report measures of mindfulness, rumination, and depressive symptoms initially and after 3 months and after 6 months. The predicted cross-lag associations were found, i.e. mindfulness predicted diminished rumination, and rumination positively predicted depressive symptoms, and as a consequence, the predicted longitudinal mediation was supported in the data as well. At the facet level of mindfulness, three of the five facets (i.e. acting with awareness, non-judging, and non-reacting) exhibited the longitudinal mediation through rumination to depressive symptoms. The findings of this research suggest that certain aspects of mindfulness function to reduce rumination, which then predicts diminished depressive symptoms.

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Acknowledgements

Appreciation is expressed to the Royal Society of New Zealand and its Marsden Fund for financially supporting the research reported here. We express thanks also to Bee Lim and the rest of the NZ Happiness Team for collecting the data, and to the participants of the study.

Funding

This project received funding from the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund (#06080611).

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TKJ: took the lead in data analysis and writing the manuscript. PEJ: designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and helped polish the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Paul E. Jose.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Our ethics application was approved by the School of Psychology’s Human Ethics Committee of Victoria University of Welllington.

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Jury, T.K., Jose, P.E. Does Rumination Function as a Longitudinal Mediator Between Mindfulness and Depression?. Mindfulness 10, 1091–1104 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12671-018-1031-z

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Keywords

  • Mindfulness
  • Rumination
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Mediation
  • Longitudinal