The role of rumination in illness trajectories in youth: linking trans-diagnostic processes with clinical staging models

Poster A33, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Jan Scott1; 1Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, UK

Research in developmental psychopathology and clinical staging models has increasingly sought to identify trans-diagnostic biomarkers or neurocognitive deficits that may play a role in the onset and trajectory of mental disorders and could represent modifiable treatment targets. Less attention has been directed at the potential role of cognitive-emotional regulation processes such as ruminative response style. Maladaptive rumination (toxic brooding) is a known mediator of the association between gender and internalizing disorders in adolescents and is increased in individuals with a history of early adversity, including trauma. Furthermore, data suggest that rumination shows moderate levels of genetic heritability and is linked to abnormalities in neural networks associated with emotional regulation and executive functioning. This paper describes evidence for the potential role of rumination in exacerbating the symptoms of alcohol and substance misuse, and bipolar and increasing the distress associated with attenuated psychotic disorders- which may increase the likelihood of help-seeking for such problems. Empirical studies show that rumination not only amplifies levels of distress and suicidal ideation, but also extends physiological responses to stress. These findings may partly explain the high prevalence of physical and mental comorbidity in youth presenting to mental health services. Given the normative developmental trajectory of rumination and its potential role in the evolution of mental and physical disorders in adolescence and early adulthood, the presentation will argue that rumination presents a detectable, modifiable trans-diagnostic risk factor in youth.

Topic Area: Diagnosis and Phenomenology

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