Posttraumatic Rumination: Content, Correlates, and Processes

Christine E. Valdez, Michelle M. Lilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trauma-related rumination (i.e., repetitive and recurrent thinking about trauma and its consequences) has shown to predict the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, though little is known about its characteristics. The purpose of this study was to examine trauma-related ruminative content, correlates, and processes during a trauma-specific repetitive thinking interview.

A total of 63 female survivors of violence completed questionnaires assessing trauma-related pathology and participated in a trauma-specific repetitive thinking interview, which was qualitatively coded.

Most participants expressed problematic (i.e., assimilated and overaccommodated) trauma beliefs during the interview, which were associated with baseline posttraumatic sequelae. Reexperiencing symptoms mediated the relation between a brooding response style and expressed problematic trauma beliefs. State negative emotions were associated with ruminative processes during the interview and predicted negative emotions after the interview.

Maladaptive trauma-related rumination is characterized by perseveration on problematic trauma beliefs. Implications for treatment are discussed.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • posttraumatic stress
  • ruminative content
  • ruminative processes
  • trauma processing
  • trauma rumination


  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Psychology
  • Psychology

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