Trait attentional control influences the relationship between repetitive negative thinking and psychopathology symptoms

Adam C. Mills, De Mond M. Grant, Matt R. Judah, Evan J. White, Danielle L. Taylor, Kristen E. Frosio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Repetitive negative thinking (RNT) has been implicated in several disorders (e.g., Clark (2005)). However, little research has examined how RNT influences other risk factors of psychopathology, such as attentional control. This study used prospective methodology to determine if relationships among various RNT styles and symptoms of psychological disorders are indirectly influenced by facets of attentional control. The sample included 376 participants who completed measures of RNT (worry, rumination, anticipatory processing, obsessions, intrusive thoughts and panic cognitions), psychopathology (generalized anxiety disorder, depression, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder), and attentional control at two time points. Several relationships between RNT forms and symptom levels were indirectly predicted by the focusing subscale of attentional control; however, the patterns of these relationships differed based on the disorder. The shifting subscale did not indirectly predict any relationship. Therefore, it appears that low focusing may be a particular risk factor for the development of later RNT and/or psychopathology symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-283
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume238
DOIs
StatePublished - 30 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Attentional control
  • Depression
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Obsessions
  • Repetitive negative thinking
  • Rumination
  • Worry

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