Repetitive regret, depression, and anxiety: Findings from a nationally representative survey

Neal J. Roese, Kai Epstude, Florian Fessel, Mike Morrison, Rachel Smallman, Amy Summerville, Adam D. Galinsky, Suzanne Segerstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Past research has established a connection between regret (negative emotions connected to cognitions about how past actions might have achieved better outcomes)and both depression and anxiety. In the present research, the relations between regret, repetitive thought, depression, and anxiety were examined in a nationally representative telephone survey. Although both regret and repetitive thought were associated with general distress, only regret was associated with anhedonic depression and anxious arousal. Further, the interaction between regret and repetitive thought (i.e., repetitive regret) was highly predictive of general distress but not of anhedonic depression nor anxious arousal. These relations were strikingly consistent across demographic variables such as sex, race/ethnicity, age, education, and income.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-688
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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