ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 7, Issue 2, 225-245, 2016
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Rumination in Everyday Life: The Influence of Distancing, Immersion, and Distraction

  Carly Yasinski - University of Delaware
  Adele Hayes - University of Delaware
  Jean-Philippe Laurenceau - University of Delaware

Volume 7, Issue 2, 2016, Pages 225-245

Rumination has been consistently associated with the development and maintenance of a variety of psychological disorders. While recent research has investigated a number of strategies to counter rumination and its negative effects, few have investigated their efficacy outside of a clinical or laboratory context. The current study used a daily diary methodology to compare the efficacy of three such strategies in the everyday lives of a highly ruminative sample. Over the course of 10 days, participants (N= 154) were asked to apply one of three perspectives (distanced, immersed, or distraction) to their thoughts and emotions about the most stressful event of the day and then to write a short narrative about the event. Over the 10-day period, immersion was associated with an average increase in negative emotion from before to after the narrative, whereas distancing was associated with little reactivity, and distraction was associated with a decrease in negative emotion. Participants in the distanced condition showed less ruminative, unproductive processing and used fewer negative emotion words in the narratives than those in the immersed condition. These differences were maintained over the 10-day study period. In targeted analyses of the days with the highest level of ruminative processing and/or event-related stress for each individual, the distanced and immersed groups reported similar levels of negative emotion reactivity and word use, but the distanced group showed less ruminative processing in the narratives. An interaction emerged suggesting that ruminative processing was only associated with an increase in negative emotion in the immersed group and not in the distanced group. The findings are discussed in the context of decreasing risk for depression and related disorders by targeting emotion regulation strategies on a daily level.

Table of Contents
Emotion Regulation Strategies that Counteract Rumination
 Distancing and Decentering
The Current Study
 Preliminary Measures and Procedures
  Ruminative thought style.
  Informational meeting and initial survey.
  Daily Measures and Procedures
  Daily negative events and most stressful event.
  Affect: Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (Crawford & Henry, 2004; PANAS; Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988).
  Memory recall task.
  Event narratives and mood.
  Manipulation check.
  Technique practice.
 Narrative Coding
  CHANGE coding system.
  Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) program.
 Data Analytic Plan
 Manipulation Check and Preliminary Analyses
  Technique practice.
  Most stressful event of the day.
 Change in Pre- to Post-Task Negative Emotion
 Negative Emotion Words
 Unproductive Processing
 Interrelationships between Primary Outcome Variables
 Unproductive Processing: Peak Day Analyses
  Group differences.
  Interrelationships between peak day study variables.
  Interaction analyses.
Limitations and Future Directions

Correspondence to
Adele Hayes, University of Delaware, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, 108 Wolf Hall, Newark, DE 19716, USA

Rumination; self-distancing; rumination; distraction; emotion-regulation; daily-diary

Received 9 Apr 2014; Revised 30 Nov 2015; Accepted 20 Jan 2016; In Press 5 Feb 2016

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