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Do daily mood fluctuations activate ruminative thoughts as a mental habit? Results from an ecological momentary assessment study

Do daily mood fluctuations activate ruminative thoughts as a mental habit? Results from an ecological momentary assessment study


Title: Do daily mood fluctuations activate ruminative thoughts as a mental habit? Results from an ecological momentary assessment study
Author: Hjartarson, Kristján Helgi
Snorrason, Ivar
Bringmann, Laura F.
Ögmundsson, Bjarni E.
Ólafsson, Ragnar Pétur
Date: 2021-05
Language: English
Scope: 103832
Department: Faculty of Psychology
Series: Behaviour Research and Therapy; 140()
ISSN: 0005-7967
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2021.103832
Subject: Þunglyndi; Depression; Ecological momentary assessment; Habit; Rumination; Humans; Ecological Momentary Assessment; Cognition; Affect; Emotions; Habits; Experimental and Cognitive Psychology; Psychiatry and Mental Health; Clinical Psychology
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/3150

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Citation:

Hjartarson , K H , Snorrason , I , Bringmann , L F , Ögmundsson , B E & Ólafsson , R P 2021 , ' Do daily mood fluctuations activate ruminative thoughts as a mental habit? Results from an ecological momentary assessment study ' , Behaviour Research and Therapy , vol. 140 , 103832 , pp. 103832 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2021.103832

Abstract:

It has been suggested that mental habits may underpin a heightened disposition to engage in rumination in response to negative mood. The aim of the current study was to assess the role of habit in the dynamic interplay between affect and ruminative thinking in the flow of daily life experiences. Using mobile ecological momentary assessment, 97 participants recorded affect and rumination ten times daily over six days, after completing measures of trait ruminative brooding and habitual characteristics of negative thinking (e.g. automaticity, lack of conscious awareness, intent and control). Momentary fluctuations in negative (increased) and positive (decreased) affect was prospectively associated with greater rumination-levels at the next sampling occasion. The degree to which affect triggered a subsequent ruminative response was moderated by habitual characteristics of negative thinking in a theoretically consistent way. Stronger temporal pairing of negative affect and rumination was also associated with greater emotional inertia but less carry-over of rumination from one moment to the next. Depression vulnerability may be in the form of rumination being habitually triggered in response to momentary fluctuations in affect, with deleterious effect on mood. The findings may have clinical implications, as targeting the habitual nature of rumination might help reduce depression vulnerability.

Description:

Funding Information: The study was funded by research grants from the Icelandic Centre for Research (Grant Number 173803-051 ) and the Eimskip Fund of The University of Iceland . The authors declare no conflict of interest. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Authors

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