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Behav Res Ther. 2007 Dec;45(12):3088-95. Epub 2007 Aug 6.

Brooding and reflection: rumination predicts suicidal ideation at 1-year follow-up in a community sample.

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  • 1Hunter College, City University of New York, 695 Park Avenue, Room 611 North, New York, NY 10021, USA.


The cognitive processes underlying suicidal thinking and behavior are not well understood. The present study examined brooding and reflection, two dimensions of rumination, as predictors of suicidal ideation among a community sample of 1134 adults. Participants completed self-report measures of rumination and depression, and a semi-structured clinical interview that included an assessment of suicidal ideation, at baseline and 1-year follow-up. Brooding was more strongly related to degree of ideation at baseline than was reflection. However, both brooding and reflection predicted whether an individual thought about suicide at 1-year follow-up, even after adjusting for baseline suicidal ideation. Symptoms of depression mediated the relationship between brooding and ideation but not that between reflection and ideation. Implications for the nature of thought processes that result in suicidal thinking are discussed.

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