Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Merced

UC Merced Previously Published Works bannerUC Merced

Rumination is independently associated with poor psychological health: Comparing emotion regulation strategies



Emotion regulation (ER) strategies are related to psychological health, with most work examining reappraisal and suppression. Yet, emerging findings suggest that rumination may have stronger relationships with psychological health, namely depression, than other ER strategies. This paper replicated and extended this work by testing whether rumination was independently associated with a range of poor psychological health risk indicators and outcomes. In addition, it explored whether the reason why rumination is so deleterious to health is because it underlies the stress-health relationship.


Participants (n = 218) completed measures online.

Main outcome measures

Surveys assessed ER strategies (reappraisal, suppression, proactive coping, emotion support seeking, and rumination), health risk indicators (hostility, optimism, self-esteem), health outcomes (depression, poor sleep quality, anxiety) and perceived chronic stress.


Multivariate regression analyses revealed rumination as the only ER strategy with a consistent independent effect on all the health risk indicators and outcomes. Bootstrapping analyses revealed indirect effects of perceived chronic stress on all the health variables via rumination.


Rumination had a deleterious relationship with psychological health, perhaps because rumination underlies the relationship between stress and psychological health. Results have implications for interventions, particularly emphasizing the need to target ruminative thinking after stressful experiences.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View