Rumination can make you better: Emotional processing and recovery after a depressing life event

Melissa G Hunt, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

This study addressed the question of whether rumination, a form of emotional processing, is a useful coping strategy in response to depression. After a covert, moderately stressful mood induction, subjects who were assigned to a rumination condition reported better mood in the long run than subjects who were assigned to either distraction or unemotional problem solving conditions. Content analysis of the essays written by the subjects strongly supported a simple habituation model of the benefits of emotional processing. Weak support was also found for the hypothesis that low to moderate levels of emotional arousal potentiate positive cognitive restructuring. Taken together, the results suggest that the negative emotional arousal that accompanies activation of depressive schemata may be an important component of recovery from depression.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|Personality

Recommended Citation

Hunt, Melissa G, "Rumination can make you better: Emotional processing and recovery after a depressing life event" (1996). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9627936.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI9627936

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