Concreteness of Depressive Rumination and Trauma Recall in Individuals with Elevated Trait Rumination and/or Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms
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The present study sought to compare the cognitive characteristics of depressive rumination and trauma recall in participants with high trait rumination and/or high levels of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), as well as in participants with normative levels of these variables. Specifically, we sought to compare the degree to which periods of depressive rumination and trauma recall were characterized by verbal-linguistic versus imagery-based activity and abstract versus concrete thought. We also explored whether these characteristics differed between participants with high trait rumination and/or high levels of PTSS, as well as participants with normative levels of trait rumination and PTSS. We found that for all participants, depressive rumination was characterized by increased verbal-linguistic activity, whereas trauma recall was characterized by increased imagery-based activity. We also found that individuals with both high trait rumination and high levels of PTSS evidenced lower levels of imagery-based activity during all repetitive thinking periods, as well as lower levels of concreteness during depressive rumination. Theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.