Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 293–308 | Cite as

The Role of Thought Suppression in Depressive Rumination

  • Richard M. WenzlaffEmail author
  • David D. Luxton


Previous research has shown that thought suppression can ironically enhance the accessibility of negative thoughts when mental control is disabled by competing cognitive demands. This study provided a longitudinal test of the prediction that the combination of thought suppression and stress can promote depressive rumination. An initial assessment identified high and low suppressors who had low levels of rumination and depression. Approximately 10 weeks later, high suppressors—who had experienced relatively high levels of stress—reported significant increases in rumination and dysphoria that exceeded those of any other group. The findings support the idea that when stress undermines mental control, thought suppression efforts can ironically fuel depressive rumination.

depression dysphoria thought suppression rumination cognition 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of Texas at San AntonioSan Antonio

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