Why do my thoughts feel so bad? Getting at the reciprocal effects of rumination and negative affect using dynamic structural equation modeling

Elisabeth S. Blanke*, Andreas B. Neubauer, Marlies Houben, Yasemin Erbas, Annette Brose

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Rumination means to perseveratively think about one’s negative feelings and problems. It is a response to affective distress that is often referred to as maladaptive emotion regulation. According to the response styles theory and control theory, rumination may further prolong and exacerbate affective distress. This means that rumination can be viewed as both an antecedent and an outcome of negative affect (NA), and vice versa. However, at the level of short-term dynamics, state rumination and NA have previously mainly been examined as two separate outcomes. To model the reciprocal within-person effects and hence, to match theoretical assumptions, we combined the two interrelated time series in one model using dynamic structural equation modeling (DSEM). Both effects (NA on subsequent rumination and rumination on subsequent NA) were modeled simultaneously while acknowledging the autoregressive nature of both states (inert properties). We used data from two experience sampling studies (NStudy 1 = 200 Belgian university students; NStudy 2 = 70 German university students). Participants were paged on smartphones several times a day (Study 1: 10; Study 2: 6) for several days (Study 1: 7; Study 2: 9–12). In both studies, we found evidence for reciprocal effects of NA and rumination, and both processes showed autoregressive relationships. Aside from central findings, higher levels of rumination were also associated with higher rumination inertia, pointing toward more habitual rumination also being associated with prolonged rumination. Together, using DSEM, we found reciprocal associations between rumination and NA, while providing new insights into the dynamics between the two processes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalEmotion
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

Keywords

  • BIPOLARITY
  • CROSS-LAGGED ASSOCIATIONS
  • DAILY EVENTS
  • DAILY-LIFE
  • DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS
  • EMOTIONAL INERTIA
  • HAPPINESS
  • MINDFULNESS
  • POSITIVE AFFECT
  • RESPONSES
  • dynamic structural equation modeling
  • experience sampling
  • inertia
  • negative affect
  • rumination

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Why do my thoughts feel so bad? Getting at the reciprocal effects of rumination and negative affect using dynamic structural equation modeling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this