Relations between a ruminative thinking style and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in non-clinical samples

Karina Wahl*, Andrea Ertle, Antje Bohne, Bartosz Zurowski, Andreas Kordon

*Corresponding author for this work
31 Citations (Scopus)


There is tremendous interest in understanding the cognitive processes behind obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Whereas previous research on cognitive OCD models has focused on the dysfunctional content of obsessional thinking, processes and styles of thinking have not yet been investigated. The present study investigated the relationship between a ruminative response style and obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptomatology in two non-clinical samples. In Sample 1, 261 students completed the Ruminative Response Scale, the Padua-Inventory, Revised, and the Beck Depression Inventory. Tendency to ruminate was positively correlated with the severity of OC symptoms and particularly with obsessive rumination, even after controlling for depression. Results were replicated in Sample 2 (211 students). Data indicate that a ruminative response style and obsessive rumination share common processual features. Understanding the interaction between rumination and obsessional thinking might help to further elucidate the role of cognitive vulnerability factors in OCD and to expand cognitive and metacognitive models of OCD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)217-225
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 03.2011

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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