Examination of Meaning-making Processes in Stressful Events: Focusing on Rumination
1University of Tsukuba
Although rumination is an important factor of meaning making to overcome stressful experiences, this relationship has not been clarified in detail. This study used a retrospective method to examine how intrusive rumination and deliberate rumination influence meaning making and clarify the mechanisms underlying meaning making. First, 97 participants completed a questionnaire assessing executive function, self-rumination, and self-reflection. Next, they answered questions about stressful events to ascertain aspect of subjective evaluation, intrusive rumination, deliberate rumination, the contents of meaning making, and posttraumatic growth (PTG). Results showed that self-reflection promoted deliberate rumination, which also facilitated positive meaning making, and subsequently, positive meaning enhanced PTG. Further, when both intrusive and deliberate rumination immediately following the event were low, the content of meaning making was more negative. These findings indicate the importance of having time to deliberately consider the event for adaptive meaning making, and avoiding trying to inhibit rumination immediately after the event to prevent maladaptive meaning making.