The Role of Rumination in Posttraumatic Growth
Floyd, Kelly N.
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While historically the negative impacts of trauma have been studied, recently a positive effects of traumatic events, posttraumatic growth, has been highlighted. This study examined the role of various types of rumination in the development of posttraumatic growth. The independent variables studied were emotion-focused rumination, instrumental rumination, searching for meaning rumination, intrusive rumination, deliberate rumination, reflection, brooding, and depressive rumination; these were assessed soon after the traumatic event and within two weeks (recently) of participation in this study. The dependent variable was posttraumatic growth. The sample consisted of 214 participants (175 females, 39 males) who completed an online survey. The sample was divided into two groups: those who experienced a trauma less than two years ago and those who experienced a trauma two or more years ago. For the former group, no forms of rumination, whether soon after the event or recently, negatively predicted posttraumatic growth but several forms of rumination both soon after and recently were positive predictors of growth. For the latter group, all rumination soon after a trauma positively predicted posttraumatic growth and most forms of rumination that occurred recently negatively predicted posttraumatic growth. For this same group, cognitive forms of rumination significantly contributed to posttraumatic growth and emotional forms did not. However, there was a substantial overlap between the contributions made by both cognitive and emotional forms of rumination. None of the forms of rumination were found to mediate one another in relation to posttraumatic growth. Implications for practice or mental health professionals and suggestions for future research are discussed.