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Repetitive Negative Thinking as a Transdiagnostic Process

Published Online:

The current paper provides an updated review of repetitive negative thinking as a transdiagnostic process. It is shown that elevated levels of repetitive negative thinking are present across a large range of Axis I disorders and appear to be causally involved in the maintenance of emotional problems. As direct comparisons of repetitive negative thinking between different disorders (e.g., GAD–type worry and depressive rumination) have generally revealed more similarities than differences, it is argued that repetitive negative thinking is characterized by the same process across disorders, which is applied to a disorder–specific content. On the other hand, there is some evidence that—within given disorders—repetitive negative thinking can be reliably distinguished from other forms of recurrent cognitions, such as obsessions, intrusive memories or functional forms of repeated thinking. An agenda for future research on repetitive negative thinking from a transdiagnostic perspective is presented.