Trait rumination and response to negative evaluative lab-induced stress: neuroendocrine, affective, and cognitive outcomes

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Suzanne Vrshek-Schallhorn, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Theoretical models of depression posit that, under stress, elevated trait rumination predicts more pronounced or prolonged negative affective and neuroendocrine responses, and that trait rumination hampers removing irrelevant negative information from working memory. We examined several gaps regarding these models in the context of lab-induced stress. Non-depressed undergraduates completed a rumination questionnaire and either a negative-evaluative Trier Social Stress Test (n = 55) or a non-evaluative control condition (n = 69), followed by a modified Sternberg affective working memory task assessing the extent to which irrelevant negative information can be emptied from working memory. We measured shame, negative and positive affect, and salivary cortisol four times. Multilevel growth curve models showed rumination and stress interactively predicted cortisol reactivity; however, opposite predictions, greater rumination was associated with blunted cortisol reactivity to stress. Elevated trait rumination interacted with stress to predict augmented shame reactivity. Rumination and stress did not significantly interact to predict working memory performance, but under control conditions, rumination predicted greater difficulty updating working memory. Results support a vulnerability-stress model of trait rumination with heightened shame reactivity and cortisol dysregulation rather than hyper-reactivity in non-depressed emerging adults, but we cannot provide evidence that working memory processes are critical immediately following acute stress.

Additional Information

Cognition & Emotion, 33(3)
Language: English
Date: 2018
rumination, lab-induced stress, cortisol, shame, working memory, multilevel growth curve models

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