Repetitive thought dimensions, psychological well-being, and perceived growth in older adults: a multilevel, prospective study

Suzanne C. Segerstrom, Tory A. Eisenlohr-Moul, Daniel R. Evans, Nilam Ram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Forms of repetitive thought (RT) such as worry are clearly related to states such as anxiety and depression. However, the presence of other forms such as reminiscing suggests that RT could also relate to eudaimonic well-being (EWB). Furthermore, a largely overlooked characteristic, total tendency to engage in RT, may associate with a particular kind of EWB, namely, perceived growth (PG). Design: Older adults (N = 150) were interviewed semi-annually for up to 10 waves. Methods: Participants completed a battery of RT measures at baseline and annual assessments of psychological well-being (PWB) and PG. Multilevel models tested the prospective, between-person relationships between baseline RT and future PWB and PG. Results: RT qualities prospectively predicted both PWB and PG: more positive valence best predicted PWB whereas more negative valence and more total RT best predicted PG. Furthermore, RT qualities largely accounted for a negative between-person relationship between PWB and PG. Conclusions: Different qualities of RT promoted different kinds of EWB, and a negative association between different kinds of EWB could be attributed to their different RT antecedents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-302
Number of pages16
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Dana Foundation and the National Institute on Aging [grant numbers R01-AG026307, K02-AG033629, and P30-AG028383.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis.


  • eudaimonic well-being
  • perceived growth
  • processing
  • psychological well-being
  • rumination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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