Reciprocal Relations of Worry, Rumination, and Psychopathology Symptoms After Loss: A Prospective Cohort Study

Maarten C. Eisma*, Asuman Buyukcan-Tetik, Paul A. Boelen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Bereavement can precipitate symptoms of depression, prolonged grief disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Targeting repetitive negative thought (i.e., worry, rumination) in treatment may help reduce post-loss psychopathology. Yet, evidence on longitudinal associations of depressive rumination and worry with post-loss psychopathology symptoms has been mixed and the directions of effects are still unclear. Recently bereaved adults (78% female) completed questionnaires assessing depressive rumination (brooding), worry, and depression, prolonged grief and posttraumatic stress symptoms 11 times in 1.5 month intervals. We applied random-intercept cross-lagged panel models (RICLPMs) to examine reciprocal within-person associations between worry and psychopathology symptoms, between rumination and these symptoms, and between worry and rumination. Main findings were that worry showed reciprocal relationships with psychopathology symptoms (although worry did not consistently predict prolonged grief symptoms). Depressive rumination was predicted by psychopathology symptoms, but not vice versa. Worry showed reciprocal relations with depressive rumination. Findings suggest that worry may be part of a downward spiral, enhancing psychopathology symptoms following loss, whereas depressive rumination is solely a consequence of such symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-806
Number of pages14
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept-2022


  • cross-lagged
  • grief
  • longitudinal
  • perseverative cognition
  • repetitive negative thinking

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