The psychosocial context of depressive rumination: Ruminative brooding predicts diminished relationship satisfaction in individuals with a history of past major depression


Correspondence should be addressed to Katherine Pearson, Mood Disorders Centre, School of Psychology, University of Exeter, Washington Singer Laboratories, Perry Road, Exeter EX4 4QG, UK (e-mail:


Objective. To test the hypothesis that rumination contributes to poor social functioning by examining whether ruminative brooding predicts subsequent relationship satisfaction in individuals with a history of major depression.

Method. Participants (N=57) were interviewed to assess depressive symptoms and completed self-report measures of brooding and relationship satisfaction, at intake into the study (Time 1) and 3 months later (Time 2).

Results. Brooding was related concurrently to relationship satisfaction at Time 2 (p<.01; approaching significance at Time 1, p=.06). Baseline brooding predicted diminished relationship satisfaction 3 months later, controlling for baseline relationship satisfaction (p<.05).

Conclusions. Brooding may be an early warning sign for increasing relationship difficulties in those vulnerable to depression.