• Exploring Co-Rumination as an Interpersonal Vulnerability to Depression

      Alloy, Lauren B.; Drabick, Deborah A.; Fauber, Robert L.; Giovannetti, Tania; Olino, Thomas; Xie, Hongling (Temple University. Libraries, 2015)
      Over the past decade, a growing body of literature has developed around the construct of co-rumination, defined as the excessive discussion of problems within close relationships at the expense of engaging in other, potentially more productive activities, such as problem solving (Rose, 2002). Past research on co-rumination has sought to elucidate its relationship with increases in depressive symptoms and, to a lesser extent, greater relationship satisfaction in youth and young adults. Although co-rumination is at its core an interpersonal process, there have been no attempts to understand this behavior in light of other long-established interpersonal vulnerabilities to depression. The present study sought to extend the literature in two key aspects at both a macro and micro level. First, the study examined the interrelations among co-rumination, interpersonal vulnerabilities (dependency and excessive reassurance seeking), depressive symptoms, and relationship quality. Using a longitudinal design, the study tested whether co-rumination mediated the relationships between these interpersonal vulnerabilities and depressive symptoms. Second, using a daily diary paradigm, this study explored how daily co-rumination affected not only daily levels of negative affect, but daily relationship satisfaction as well. A sample of 309 university students completed a baseline questionnaire assessing interpersonal vulnerabilities, relationship quality with their closest confidant, and depressive symptoms followed by a seven-day daily diary that measured target participants’ negative mood, levels of co-rumination with their closest confidant regarding a stressor, relationship satisfaction, and interaction quality. One month later, participants completed a measure of depressive symptoms. Partial support for hypotheses was found. Co-rumination was positively related to other measures of interpersonal vulnerability and relationship quality, but was unrelated to depressive symptoms both concurrently and at the one-month follow-up. Co-rumination was not found to be a moderator or a mediator of the relationships between interpersonal vulnerabilities and depressive symptoms. Co-rumination did moderate the relationships between interpersonal vulnerabilities and relationship quality, with a differential pattern of results across gender. At the daily level, co-rumination was related to negative mood and relationship satisfaction; however, no support was found for co-rumination as a mediator of gender differences in negative mood or relationship quality. Overall, these findings suggest that engaging in co-rumination is associated with relationship quality and satisfaction. More research is necessary to determine under which circumstances and for which young adults co-rumination results in elevations in depressive symptoms, findings that have tended to be more consistent in youth samples.