Getting stuck in depression: The roles of rumination and emotional inertia

Journal article


Koval, Peter, Kuppens, Peter, Allen, Nicholas B. and Sheeber, Lisa. (2012) Getting stuck in depression: The roles of rumination and emotional inertia. Cognition and Emotion. 26(8), pp. 1412 - 1427. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2012.667392
AuthorsKoval, Peter, Kuppens, Peter, Allen, Nicholas B. and Sheeber, Lisa
Abstract

Like many other mental disorders, depression is characterised by psychological inflexibility. Two instances of such inflexibility are rumination: repetitive cognitions focusing on the causes and consequences of depressive symptoms; and emotional inertia: the tendency for affective states to be resistant to change. In two studies, we tested the predictions that: (1) rumination and emotional inertia are related; and (2) both independently contribute to depressive symptoms. We examined emotional inertia of subjective affective experiences in daily life among a sample of non-clinical undergraduates (Study 1), and of affective behaviours during a family interaction task in a sample of clinically depressed and non-depressed adolescents (Study 2), and related it to self-reported rumination and depression severity. In both studies, rumination (particularly the brooding facet) and emotional inertia (particularly of sad/dysphoric affect) were positively associated, and both independently predicted depression severity. These findings demonstrate the importance of studying both cognitive and affective inflexibility in depression.

KeywordsRumination; Emotional inertia; Depression; Psychological flexibility; Perseveration
Year2012
JournalCognition and Emotion
Journal citation26 (8), pp. 1412 - 1427
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN0269-9931
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2012.667392
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84868701697
Page range1412 - 1427
Research GroupSchool of Philosophy
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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