Co-rumination, the tendency to dwell on negative events and feelings with a relationship partner, is an aspect of relationships that has been associated with socioemotional adjustment tradeoffs and is found to be associated with depressive symptoms. However, depending on the context in which it occurs, co-rumination is not necessarily associated with detriments to mental well-being. Differences in relationship quality within certain relationships may explain why co-rumination is not always associated with depressive symptoms. In the current study, we utilized self-report measures in an ethnically diverse sample (53.5 % non-White) of 307 first term college students (65 % female) in order to elucidate how co-rumination between roommates may be associated with depressive symptoms. We found that the association between co-rumination and depressive symptoms was moderated by relationship quality such that co-rumination in a high quality relationship was not associated with depressive symptoms whereas the opposite was true in low quality relationships. Moreover, we found moderated mediation, such that the variance in the association between co-rumination and depressive symptoms was explained via self-esteem, but only for those co-ruminating within a low quality relationship. These results suggest that relationship quality may impact the extent to which co-rumination is associated with depressive symptoms among first year college students.
- Relationship quality
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)