Rumination and Its Impact on Socially Anxious Individuals in Romantic Relationships

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Nelson, Sarah
Washburn University
Department of Psychology
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Socially anxious individuals were compared to control participants regarding romantic relationship satisfaction and rumination. Socially anxious individuals had higher levels of rumination than their low anxiety counterparts. Contrary to expectations, high and low social anxiety groups did not differ in relationship satisfaction. Participants were asked to recall a hurtful event within their romantic relationship, a task intended to provoke rumination. Contrary to hypotheses, socially anxious individuals did not experience a noticeable decrease in romantic relationship satisfaction after this task. All participants experienced a decrease in negative emotions since the hurtful relationship event. Contrary to expectations, socially anxious individuals did not continue to experience more negative emotions tied to the event than controls. Lastly, high social anxiety and high rumination were predicted to interact to produce low levels of relationship satisfaction. The data did not support this hypothesis.