A total of 100 experimental, cross-sectional and longitudinal studies on the association between rumination and negative affects are reviewed. Experimental and cross-sectional studies support a positive association between rumination and sadness-depression whereas longitudinal studies show more diverse results. Longitudinal studies sampling clinical populations and with treatment during the followup display more null results. Concerning the relation between rumination and other negative affects there is strongest evidence for a positive association between rumination and anxiety, but more studies are necessary to illuminate the relation between rumination and other negative affects. The functionality of rumination is discussed along with possible explanations for the associations between rumination and different negative affects. The need for further differentiation of rumination is highlighted in order to distinguish the concept from other types of repetitive, negative thoughts.
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