Worry and rumination in older adults: Differentiating the processes

Geoffrey D'Hudson, Lauren Saling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study examined the factor structure of the adapted Ruminative Response Scale in a large Australian older adult sample. Previously, the factor structure has only been explored in small UK sample and thus remains tentative. A further objective was to explore overlapping and distinct characteristics of worry, brooding and reflection in relation to coping behaviour which has not previously been examined in older adults. Method: A total of 138 older adults aged between 65 and 97 years (M¼77, SD¼7.9) completed a number of instruments to measure worry, rumination, anxiety and coping behaviour. Results: A three-factor structure comprised of worry, brooding and reflection emerged. However, no unique relationship was found between the rumination components (brooding and reflection) and worry and coping pathways. Conclusion: The factor structure supports the idea that worry, brooding and reflection are distinguishable constructs in the elderly. However, the lack of differential associations between the rumination components and worry in relation to coping strategies provided evidence that rumination and worry are part of the same theoretical construct of repetitive thought. The implications of these findings for the management of anxiety and depression in the elderly are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-534
Number of pages11
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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