Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Dr. Stephanie Smith

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Joye Anestis

Committee Member 3

Dr. Eric Dahlen

Committee Member 3 School



Rumination maintains, exacerbates, and is related to several maladaptive outcomes including negative affect (e.g., sadness, anger), symptoms of depression, and aggression in samples of nonclinical and clinical populations across developmental periods (e.g., McLaughlin & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2011; Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991; Nolen-Hoeksema, 1996; Thomsen, 2006; Peled & Moretti, 2007; Yang, et. al., 2014). Recently, the construct of sadness rumination has been conceptualized as two distinct subtypes, reflection and brooding (Treynor, Gonzalez, & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2003). Brooding is considered maladaptive because feelings and situations are viewed through a negativistic lens and reflection is viewed as adaptive and uses a problem-solving approach (Lopez, 2010; Burwell & Shirk, 2007; Smith & Alloy, 2009; Treynor, et al., 2003). The current study aimed to expand upon this past research and examine whether a two-factor model of rumination (brooding and reflection) is relevant for anger rumination and examine which subtype is associated with different forms of aggression. Results revealed that a two-factor model of anger rumination was a better fit than a one-factor model. Furthermore, this study found that brooding significantly associated with increases in physical and relational aggression and reflection was significantly associated with decreases in physical and relational aggression. However, reflection and not brooding was determined to be significantly associated with elevated levels of verbal aggression. Importantly, sex did not moderate the relationship between brooding and the different forms of aggression. Overall, these findings provide evidence of brooding and reflection subtypes for anger rumination and increases the specificity of how risk factors for aggression are conceptualized, thus informing future directions for research and treatment.