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When thinking hurts: Attachment, rumination, and postrelationship adjustment

Authors

  • COLLEEN SAFFREY,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Victoria
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    • Colleen Saffrey and Marion Ehrenberg, Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, Victoria BC, Canada V8W 3P5.

  • MARION EHRENBERG

    1. University of Victoria
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    • Colleen Saffrey and Marion Ehrenberg, Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, Victoria BC, Canada V8W 3P5.


  • This research was supported by a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council grant awarded to the first author. Special thanks to Michael Hunter and Catherine Costigan for their helpful suggestions during the development of this research. This paper is based on the masters thesis of the principal author.

Colleen Saffrey, University of Victoria, Department of Psychology, Victoria BC, Canada V8W 3P5, e-mail: csaffrey@uvic.ca.

Abstract

The current study used an attachment framework to explore postrelationship rumination and adjustment. Young adults (N= 231) involved in a romantic relationship that (a) was of 3 months duration or longer and (b) ended in the last 12 months participated in the study. The study assessed rumination generally (brooding, regret, and reflection), and specifically concerning the ended relationship (relationship preoccupation and romantic regret). At the general level, brooding and regret were associated with more negative adjustment, whereas reflection was associated with more positive adjustment. At the relationship level, both relationship preoccupation and romantic regret were associated with more negative adjustment. Models tested indicated that rumination largely mediated the association between attachment anxiety and adjustment.

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