Family functioning and parents’ dispositions moderate the affective, attentional and physiological consequences of rumination in children

Cristina Ottaviani, Antonia Lonigro, Blu Cioffi, Demetria Manzi, Fiorenzo Laghi, Roberto Baiocco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In adults, rumination has been associated with costs at affective, cognitive, and physiological levels. We examined if rumination in children is characterized by the same dysfunctional consequences and the possible moderating role of family functioning (cohesion and flexibility) and parents’ trait rumination and depression. After induction of rumination, forty children (20 girls; 9.6 years) performed a tracking task with thought probes while their mood, reaction times (RT), heart rate (HR), and variability (HRV) were assessed. Self-reported episodes of rumination were associated with higher HR, lower HRV, mood worsening, and slower RT compared to being on task. Moderation analysis suggested that children's slower RT during ruminative thinking were associated with greater trait rumination in mothers and less flexibility in the family, whereas higher HR and lower HRV during rumination in children were associated with less family cohesion. Findings help our understanding of the person-environment interaction in modulating the costs of rumination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-228
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Psychology
Volume127
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2017

Keywords

  • Children
  • Family functioning
  • Heart rate variability
  • Mood
  • Rumination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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