Journal of Clinical Psychology
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Recent research has suggested that the measure most commonly used to assess rumination, the Response Style Questionnaire (RSQ; L. D. Butler & S. Nolen-Hoeksema, 1994), may be heavily biased by depressive symptoms, thereby restricting the scope of research exploring this construct. This article offers a broader conceptualization of rumination, which includes positive, negative, and neutral thoughts as well as past and future-oriented thoughts. The first two studies describe the development and evaluation of the Ruminative Thought Style Questionnaire (RTS), a psychometrically sound measure of the general tendency to ruminate. Further, the scale is comprised of a single factor and shows high internal consistency, suggesting that rumination does encompasses the factors mentioned. The final study involved a longitudinal diary investigation of rumination and mood over time. Results suggest that the RTS assesses a related, but separate, construct than does the RSQ. RTS scores predicted future depressed mood beyond the variance accounted for by initial depressed mood whereas RSQ scores did not. The implications of these results and directions for future research are discussed.