- The effects of experimentally induced rumination versus distraction on analogue posttraumatic stress symptoms
- Behavior Therapy
- Volume | Issue number
- 40 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Rumination has been suggested to be an important factor maintaining posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Using an analogue design, this study aimed to experimentally test the hypothesis that trauma-related rumination maintains PTSD symptoms. Fifty-one participants were first asked to give a detailed narrative of a negative life event and were then randomly assigned to a rumination or distraction condition. In line with the hypotheses, rumination about the event resulted in the maintenance of negative mood and intrusive memories immediately after the manipulation whereas distraction resulted in symptom reduction. However, this effect was reversed during a subsequent symptom provocation task, in which distraction led to a greater increase in some of the symptoms than rumination. Results are in line with the idea that rumination is involved in the maintenance of PTSD but may suggest a complex relationship between rumination and posttraumatic stress symptoms.
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