BACKGROUND: Bereavement can result in severe mental health problems, including persistent, severe and disabling grief symptoms, termed complicated grief. Grief rumination (i.e., repetitive thought about the causes and consequences of the loss) is a malleable cognitive risk-factor in adjustment to bereavement. The Utrecht Grief Rumination Scale (UGRS) was recently developed to assess grief rumination. The present study aimed to develop and validate a German version of the UGRS.
METHODS: An online survey including measures of demographic and loss-related variables, grief rumination (UGRS), depressive rumination (brooding and reflection), and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and complicated grief, was administered online among 159 persons (87% women) who had lost a first-degree relative in the past three years. UGRS item analyses, a confirmatory factor analysis and associations of grief rumination with brooding, reflection and symptom levels were performed.
RESULTS: The internal consistency of the UGRS was good. The confirmatory factor analysis obtained a good fit for a model with five correlated grief rumination subscales. The UGRS contributed uniquely to the prediction of complicated grief symptoms even when controlling for symptoms of anxiety and depression, brooding, reflection, and demographic and loss-related variables. Discriminant validity of the UGRS was demonstrated by the fact that higher UGRS scores were found in participants with a higher likelihood of receiving a diagnosis of complicated grief (d > 1.60).
CONCLUSION: The translated UGRS showed very good psychometric properties and the correlations with maladaptive ruminative styles and complicated grief symptoms demonstrated the clinical relevance of grief rumination. Limitations concerning generalisability of the results are discussed.