Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Adolescence

pp 2426-2438



  • Jason S. SpendelowAffiliated withPrivate Practitioner Email author 
  • , Paul E. JoseAffiliated withCentre for Applied Cross Cultural Research, School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington


This essay provides a broad overview of rumination in adolescence. It describes the key conceptual and theoretical foundations of rumination, and considers the role played by rumination in depression and other mental health issues. Implications for intervention and directions for future research will conclude the essay.


Rumination is complex psychological construct (Smith and Alloy 2009) for which theoretical and empirical work abounds. While it is generally agreed that rumination is characterized by repetitive and maladaptive thought, consensus on other elements is lacking. Much of the research impetus in recent years has come from Susan Nolen-Hoeksema’s work on gender, depression, and the Response Styles Theory (RST). This, and subsequent work, has improved our understanding of the cognitive mechanisms implicated in the development of depression and other mental health problems.

While our knowledge of rumination has been gleaned primarily from re ...

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