Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis




Rebecca Schwartz-Mette

Committee Members

Cynthia Erdley, Emily Haigh, Jordan LaBouff, Laura Rickard

Graduation Year

May 2020

Publication Date

Spring 5-2020


Depressive symptoms and positive friendship quality are typically inversely correlated across numerous past studies, with most studies involving only two time points. At the same time, co-rumination (Rose, 2002), the mutually encouraged, speculative, repetitive, and negatively focused discussion of problems between friends, has been linked to increased depressive symptoms and increased friendship quality concurrently and over time (Calmes & Roberts, 2008; Rose et al., 2007, 2014). Yet unclear is how co-rumination impacts associations of depressive symptoms and friendship quality over time and the nature of these relations over more than two time points. Additionally, understudied are observations of co-rumination, with only one published study presenting observed co-rumination data. The current study assessed 93 same-gender friendship dyads (N = 186) involving three self-report survey assessments (baseline, 3 months, 6 months) and one observed dyadic interaction task. Results indicated that initial friendship quality is predictive of increased depressive symptoms, which then predict increased friendship problems over time for both boys and girls. Interestingly, co-rumination did not impact depressive symptoms or friendship quality when self-reports were considered, but observed co-rumination mediated longitudinal relations of positive friendship quality and depressive symptoms over 3 and 6 months, specifically for boys. Clinical implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.