ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 5, Issue 3, 289-301, 2014
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Trait Rumination Moderates the Effect of Executive Control Training

  Meghan Quinn - Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA
  Daniel Keil - Department of Psychology, Philipps University Marburg, Germany
  Sarah Utke - Department of Psychology, Philipps University Marburg, Germany
  Jutta Joormann - Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA

Volume 5, Issue 3, 2014, Pages 289-301

The ability to regulate emotions during times of stress plays an important role in risk for psychopathology and resilient responding. Individual differences in executive control may critically affect this ability. Training executive control may therefore improve emotional adjustment to stressful events. The aims of the current study were to examine whether executive control training affects biological stress response and to investigate whether trait rumination moderates the training effect. Using a student sample (N = 69), two versions of the n-back task were administered, one with neutral and one with affective stimuli. The training groups were compared to a control condition on changes in salivary cortisol following a stress induction. Results indicate that trait rumination moderated the training effects. For participants low on trait rumination, condition assignment had no effect on cortisol reactivity. For participants high on trait rumination, however, the training compared to the control condition resulted in diminished cortisol reactivity. These results emphasize the importance of examining moderators when investigating the effects of executive control training.

Table of Contents
 Self-Report Measures
  Ruminative Responses Scale (RRS; Treynor, Gonzalez, & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2003).
  Beck Depression Inventory, Second Edition (BDI-II; Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996).
  Anxiety ratings.
  Cortisol Questionnaire.
 Training Tasks
 Stress Induction
 Preliminary Analyses
  Data Screening.
  Group Characteristics.
  Evaluation of training tasks.
  Evaluation of stress induction.
 Moderating Role of Rumination

Correspondence to
Meghan Quinn, Northwestern University, Department of Psychology, 2029 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208-2710.

Executive control training; Rumination; Cortisol reactivity; Executive control; Working memory

Received 9 Sep 2013; Revised 24 Feb 2014; Accepted 17 Feb 2014; In Press 21 Nov 2014

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