Rumination, the process of perseveratively dwelling on symptoms of distress and their possible causes and consequences, is a transdiagnostic risk factor for psychopathology. Mindfulness, which involves paying attention, on purpose, and nonjudgmentally, is antithetical in nature to rumination and appears effective in reducing ruminative thoughts. However, the nature of the relationships between rumination and specific aspects of mindfulness are not well understood. We aimed to investigate the relationships between rumination and specific aspects of mindfulness across three samples varying in age and risk status.
Participants included 88 emerging adults (M age = 18.51, SD = .64), 161 community adolescents (M age = 12.68, SD = 1.10), and 80 adolescents selected for moderate-to-high rumination (M age = 14.01, SD = .99). All samples completed questionnaires to assess trait rumination and mindfulness. Samples 1 and 2 completed questionnaires again 3 weeks and 1 year later, respectively.
Linear regression models revealed that nonjudgment was the only facet that significantly predicted concurrent rumination among all samples (R2s = .27–.51). Higher baseline levels of nonjudgment also predicted lower levels of rumination prospectively among emerging adults (R2 = .62) and community adolescents, along with awareness (R2 = .33).
Results suggest that rumination is uniquely associated with the judgment of inner experiences. Therefore, future research may investigate the utility of interventions that focus on nonjudgment for reducing rumination.