Does rumination mediate the relationship between emotion regulation ability and posttraumatic stress disorder?
Ehring T., Ehlers A.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Trauma-related rumination has been suggested to be involved in the maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This view has empirically been supported by extensive evidence using cross-sectional, prospective, and experimental designs. However, it is unclear why trauma survivors engage in rumination despite its negative consequences. The current study aimed to explore the hypothesis that low emotion regulation ability underlies trauma-related rumination. METHODS: Emotion regulation ability and trauma-related rumination were assessed in 93 road traffic accident survivors 2 weeks post-trauma. In addition, symptom levels of PTSD were assessed at 2 weeks as well as 1, 3, and 6 months follow-up. RESULTS: Emotion regulation ability was significantly related to trauma-related rumination as well as levels of PTSD symptoms. In addition, the association between low emotion regulation ability and PTSD was mediated by rumination. CONCLUSIONS: The findings support the view that rumination is used as a dysfunctional emotion regulation strategy by trauma survivors.