Rejection sensitivity prospectively predicts increased rumination.Behav Res Ther 2011; 49(10):597-605BR
Converging research findings indicate that rumination is correlated with a specific maladaptive interpersonal style encapsulating submissive (overly-accommodating, non-assertive and self-sacrificing) behaviours, and an attachment orientation characterised by rejection sensitivity. This study examined the prospective longitudinal relationship between rumination, the submissive interpersonal style, and rejection sensitivity by comparing two alternative hypotheses: (a) the submissive interpersonal style and rejection sensitivity prospectively predict increased rumination; (b) rumination prospectively predicts the submissive interpersonal style and rejection sensitivity. Currently depressed (n = 22), previously depressed (n = 42) and never depressed (n = 28) individuals completed self-report measures assessing depressive rumination and key psychosocial measures of interpersonal style and behaviours, at baseline and again six months later. Baseline rejection sensitivity prospectively predicted increased rumination six months later, after statistically controlling for baseline rumination, gender and depression. Baseline rumination did not predict the submissive interpersonal style or rejection sensitivity. The results provide a first step towards delineating a potential casual relationship between rejection sensitivity and rumination, and suggest the potential value of clinical assessment and intervention for both rejection sensitivity and rumination in individuals who present with either difficulty.