Gender differences in rumination: A meta-analysis
Daniel P Johnson, Mark a Whisman; 2013
Personality and Individual Differences, Article in Press
Starting in adolescence and continuing through adulthood, women are twice as likely as men to experience depression. According to the response styles theory (RST), gender differences in depression result, in part, from women’s tendency to ruminate more than men. A meta-analysis was performed to evaluate gender differences in rumination in adults (k = 59; N = 14,321); additionally, an analysis of subtypes of rumination – brooding and reflection – was conducted (k = 23). Fixed effects analyses indicated that women scored higher than men in rumination (d = .24, p < .01, SEd = .02), brooding (d = .19, p < .01, SEd = .03) and reflection (d = .17, p < .01, SEd = .03); there was no evidence of heterogeneity or publication bias across studies for these effect sizes. Although statistically significant, the effect sizes for gender differences in rumination were small in magnitude. Results are discussed with respect to the RST and gender differences in depression.