Week 1 – A New Outlook

Following the winding (and often bumpy) path of research, I have had to revise and re-imagine my work this summer. I’m still working within the study of loneliness and emotional regulation, broadly, but some of the specificities have shifted. To echo my last post, the original plan was to recruit participants through the James City County school system and administer a series of questionnaires in one long session before school got out for the summer. Unfortunately the lab members and I did not get approval to access to these student populations before school let out, and we have consequently revised our plan of action.

As a whole, the lab is pursuing a study investigating peer socialization of emotions within the close friendships of children. This study examines how children’s emotion regulation relates to their emotion socialization practices and how these processes are linked to various psychological and social outcomes. Additionally, the study will explore whether peer socialization of emotion differs as a function of gender, emotion type (i.e., anger, sadness, worry), or child age. Children ages 10 – 14 will choose a best friend, and these pairs will complete self-report measures (individually) and participate in a discussion task (together).

My individual study is still centered around peer emotion socialization and loneliness, but from a slightly different angle. Specifically, I will examine loneliness as it relates to co-rumination within children’s same-sex friendships. Co-rumination is a relatively new term in psychology, which is basically what it sounds like: ruminating with another person, or within the context of a friendship. It has been defined as a process of peer influence in which peers fixate on various problems in conversation, focusing especially on negative emotions and encouraging discussion of problems (Rose, 2002). My independent research will take place mostly during data collection and analyses.  In data analysis, I plan to look at the intersection of loneliness and co-rumination as it relates to friendship quality.  I am especially interested in whether feelings of loneliness are predicted by co-rumination, and whether friendship quality affects this relationship.  In past research, co-rumination has been connected to both positive and negative psychological and social outcomes (Rose, 2002).  While it involves behaviors thought to facilitate closeness between friends (i.e., self-disclosure), co-rumination also involves behaviors associated with internalizing symptomatology (i.e., rumination).  Being that loneliness is a symptom of internalizing behavior, I am curios if co-rumination predicts loneliness.  I want to address questions like, is co-rumination more strongly associated with closeness, thereby predicting feelings of social connection, or is it more strongly associated with internalizing behavior, thereby predicting feelings of loneliness? And does the relationship between co-rumination and loneliness change depending on the quality of the friendship? My hypothesis is that co-rumination will predict feelings of social connection among higher quality friendships, and feelings of loneliness among lower quality friendships, in which participants are focusing on negativity without the stable support of a close friend.

Once this data has been collected, I will use correlations and regression analyses to evaluate the links between co-rumination, friendship quality, and loneliness.  Hopefully this analysis will allow me to draw important conclusions about the role of co-rumination in internalizing behaviors during middle childhood!



Rose, A. J. (2002). Co-rumination in the friendships of girls and boys. Child Development, 73(6), 1830–43. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12487497


  1. klwessman says:

    This is fascinating! I’m sure it was very frustrating to have to change your research focus this summer, but the concept of co-rumination intrigues me even more than what you originally planned to do. I’m definitely going to read up on it. I look forward to reading about what you find once you are able to get full permission from parents and everything. From your other post, I’m sure that’s been quite frustrating as well! But once you get all the logistics out of the way, you’ll be good to go!