The effects of experimentally induced rumination, positive reappraisal, acceptance, and distancing when thinking about a stressful event on affect states in adolescents

L. Rood*, J. Roelofs, S.M. Bögels, A. Arntz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The current study compares the effects of experimentally induced rumination, positive reappraisal, distancing, and acceptance on affect states in adolescents aged 13-18. Participants (N = 160) were instructed to think about a recent stressful event. Next, they received specific instructions on how to think about that event in each condition. Manipulation checks revealed that the manipulations were successful, except for acceptance. The two most reported events were "a fight" and "death of loved one". Results showed that positive reappraisal (i.e., thinking about the benefits and personal growth) caused a significantly larger increase in positive affect and decrease in negative affect compared to rumination, distancing, and acceptance. Current findings implicate that positive reappraisal seems an adequate coping strategy in the short-term, and therefore could be applied in interventions for youth experiencing difficulties managing negative affect. Future research should focus on long-term effects of these cognitive strategies and on more intensive training of acceptance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-84
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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