Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Amy H. Mezulis, PhD

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Lynette H. Bikos, PhD

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Jenny L. Vaydich, PhD


During adolescence, rates of depression increase significantly, necessitating understanding of interpersonal and intrapersonal factors that contribute to the occurrence of depressive symptoms. Prominent theories of depression, such as stress generation theory, suggest that depressed individuals experience more interpersonal stress that is dependent on their own actions or behavior. The current study sought to examine the role of co-rumination in the generation of stress and development of depression over the course of a year. Participants were 150 adolescents (48.7% female, 77.5% Caucasian) ages 11 to 14 years old (M = 13.03, SD = 0.93). Three models assessed the directional relationship between co-rumination, three types of acute stress (interpersonal dependent, interpersonal independent, and non-interpersonal) and depressive symptoms; three models assessed the directional relationship between depressive symptoms, three types of acute stress, and co-rumination. Results were largely unsupportive of hypotheses; co-rumination did not consistently predict any type of acute stress, though T2 co-rumination predicted T3 interpersonal dependent stress in one model, B(SE) = -.15(.07), p = .02. Depressive symptoms did predict interpersonal dependent stress across more timepoints (e.g., T1 to T2, B[SE] = .23[.10], p = .02) compared to interpersonal independent and non-interpersonal stress. Acute stress across did not mediate the relation between co-rumination and depressive symptoms or depressive symptoms and co-rumination. Post-hoc analyses simultaneously examined the previously separate directional relationships addressed the first six models. Results of these three models displayed a similar pattern of findings, with depressive symptoms predicting the occurrence of interpersonal dependent stress, (B[SE] = .29[.10], p = .005) but not interpersonal independent (B[SE] = .06[.08], p = .45) or non-interpersonal stress (B[SE] = .13[.10], p = .19). Unexpectedly, interpersonal dependent stress negatively predicted co-rumination (B[SE] = -.20[.09], p = .02). No stress variable mediated the relation between co-rumination and depressive symptoms or depressive symptoms and co-rumination. Overall, results suggest that co-rumination may not be a mechanism that generates interpersonal or non-interpersonal stress, supporting other prior research that has suggested the co-rumination may be a moderating factor in the relationship between stress and depressive symptoms. However, methodological concerns such as low sample size may have limited the current study.

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