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The role of rumination and positive beliefs about rumination in eating pathology | SpringerLink

The role of rumination and positive beliefs about rumination in eating pathology

Abstract

Purpose

General and eating disorder (ED)-specific ruminations have been identified as key factors that may contribute to eating pathology. Positive beliefs about rumination (e.g., “Ruminating helps me to prevent future mistakes") may impact this association. However, the effect of positive beliefs about rumination on the links between rumination and ED symptom severity has not been investigated. This study sought to clarify relations between rumination and ED symptom severity and to evaluate the potential moderating effect of positive beliefs about rumination on these associations.

Methods

During a laboratory visit, undergraduate participants (N = 473, MAge = 18.90 ± 2.27, MBMI = 23.45 kg/m2 ± 4.31, 54.8% female) completed an online battery of questionnaires assessing general and ED-specific ruminative processes (e.g., brooding, reflection), positive beliefs about rumination, and global ED symptoms. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses assessed the unique contributions of specific ruminative processes, and the moderating effect of positive beliefs on associations between ruminative processes and ED symptom severity.

Results

Hierarchical multiple regression results suggest that, after controlling for gender and BMI, ED-specific brooding, b = 1.32, SE = 0.13, β = 0.46, p < 0.0001, and reflection, b = 1.44, SE = 0.33, β = 0.19, p < 0.0001, accounted for unique variance in ED symptom severity. Moderation model results indicate that, at low levels of general reflection, b = − 0.06, SE = 0.02, β = − 0.51, p = 0.003, and ED-specific reflection, b = − 0.15, SE = 0.03, β = − 0.59, p < 0.0001, increased positive beliefs about rumination were associated with greater ED symptom severity.

Conclusion

Findings suggest ED-specific rumination accounts for ED symptom severity above and beyond general rumination, and that rumination-related expectancies influence the association between reflection and ED symptom severity.

Level of evidence

Level III, evidence obtained from a well-designed cohort study.

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Fig. 1

Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from Lisa M. Anderson (ande8936@umn.edu) upon reasonable request.

Code availability

Available upon reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers T32 MH082761 (L. Anderson), K23 MH123910 (L. Anderson), and K23 MH112867 (Haynos). It was additionally supported by the University of Minnesota Office of Undergraduate Research (Rich), Klarman Family Foundation (Haynos), and Hilda and Preston Davis Foundation (Haynos). This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Funding

This work was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers T32 MH082761 (L. Anderson), K23 MH123910 (L. Anderson), and K23 MH112867 (Haynos). It was additionally supported by the University of Minnesota Office of Undergraduate Research (Rich), Klarman Family Foundation (Haynos), and Hilda and Preston Davis Foundation (Haynos). This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Authors

Contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Data collection was conducted by LEE and DAA. Material preparation and data analysis were performed by ACR and LMA. The first draft of the manuscript was written by ACR and LMA, and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lisa M. Anderson.

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The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Participants signed informed consent regarding publishing their data.

Ethics approval

This study was approved by the University at Albany, State University of New York’s Institutional Review Board. Study procedures were performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

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Rich, A.C., Haynos, A.F., Anderson, D.A. et al. The role of rumination and positive beliefs about rumination in eating pathology. Eat Weight Disord (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-021-01209-1

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Keywords

  • Brooding
  • Eating disorder
  • Expectancies
  • Positive beliefs
  • Reflection
  • Rumination