A Curvilinear Approach to Examining Co-Rumination and Depressive Symptoms

Andrew A. Bergeron, University of Maine - Main


Co-rumination refers to a pattern of behavior within a dyadic relationship that involves repetitive discussion of personal problems with a focus on the negative thoughts and feelings that those problems create (Rose, 2002). In what has been described as an “adjustment trade-off,” individuals who engage in co-rumination tend to be at higher risk for developing depressive symptoms, but they also tend to experience higher levels of relationship satisfaction and intimacy with the individuals with whom they co-ruminate (Rose, 2002). It is generally assumed that higher levels of co-rumination are associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms in a positive linear relationship; however, this may not be the best way to capture the adjustment trade-off that defines co-rumination. This study examined whether the relationship between co-rumination and depressive symptoms could be better expressed using a quadratic, rather than a linear, regression through better accounting for the benefits of co-rumination, and while no significant differences were found between the two, correlations were found between co-rumination and both depressive symptoms and social support.