The Influence of Perfectionism and Thought Suppression on Negative Rumination
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Major depressive disorder is known to show symptoms of emotional and physical disturbance. One risk factor that aggravates depressive symptoms is negative rumination. Perfectionism has been recognized as a personality trait that has maladaptive and adaptive aspects relative to depression. Perfectionism also bears certain relations to negative rumination. The present study aims to clarify the mechanism by which a perfectionist increases his or her intensity of negative rumination while revealing the types of situation he/she might act on and the style of coping he/she might adopt. We conducted a panel survey with an interval period of four weeks. Self-reported questionnaires to assess negative rumination (covering the T1-T2 interval), perfectionistic cognition (T1 only), thought suppression (T1 only), and stressors faced in daily life (T2 only) were administered to 272 non-clinical university students. The findings are as follows: When perfectionists are engaged in stressful situations in a compulsive manner, they achieve the opposite result of what they intended due to their compulsive way of enthusiastically engaging in thought suppression. It is suggested that an effective treatment for perfectionists to escape from negative rumination would set them free from endless attempts to suppress their negative thoughts.
This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI (Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research) Grant Number 23730652.
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Graduate School of Education