Date of Award
Dr. Catherine L. Bagwell
Studies concerning depression consistently reveal higher levels in women than men. One explanation for this is that women and men cope with depressive emotions differently. While women tend to focus on their negative emotions and the causes and consequences of these feelings, men are more likely to engage in distracting, active behavior. The persistent self focus on negative emotions, rumination, has been found to prolong and exacerbate feelings of depression (Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991). At the same time, women tend to have more intimate and close friendships characterized by self-disclosure than men. While such intimate relationships theoretically provide social support that can alleviate the severity and shorten the length of depression, this buffering effect apparently does not lessen the prevalence of depression in women. One explanation for this lack of significant effective mediation is that women may engage in more co-rumination, or the excessive and repetitive discussion of one's problems, focusing on the causes, effects, and negative emotions associated with them (Rose, 2002). Co-rumination may prolong feelings of depression. The current study attempted to examine the correlation between co-rumination and depression by examining college students and their coping styles within their close same-sex friendships. Results indicate that women tend to co-ruminate more than men, and that their friendships have more positive friendship features. Men report more hostility and their friendships have more negative friendship qualities. Furthermore, for all participants, co-rumination correlated significantly with depression and positive friendship qualities.
Burns, Maurita M., "Co-rumination and depression in college students" (2006). Honors Theses. 1044.