Rumination, Mindfulness, and Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms

Edward A. Selby, Kara B. Fehling, Emily A. Panza, Amy Kranzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Current research indicates that both rumination and low mindfulness are implicated in the development and maintenance of borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms, yet no research to date has synthesized these findings into one model. In this study, we examined the mediating interplay between BPD symptoms, rumination levels, and low engagement in mindfulness. Two hundred racially diverse undergraduate college students participated in the study. Major depressive disorder (MDD) and BPD symptoms were assessed using semi-structured interviews, and current rumination and mindfulness were assessed using self-report measures. Increased BPD symptoms predicted both decreased mindfulness and increased rumination. Bootstrapping mediation analyses indicated that rumination mediated the association between BPD symptoms and low mindfulness, and low mindfulness mediated the association between BPD symptoms and rumination. Both mediation effects held beyond effects of age, gender and current MDD. However, the magnitude of the indirect effect of BPD on low mindfulness through rumination was significantly larger than the indirect effect of BPD on rumination through low mindfulness. Furthermore, BPD symptoms had a significantly larger indirect effect on low mindfulness through brooding rumination than through reflection rumination. These findings suggest that low mindfulness, rumination, and BPD are intimately related. This study provides important preliminary information for the understanding of the relationship between low mindfulness and rumination in BPD symptom development and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Brooding
  • Emotional cascades
  • Mindfulness
  • Rumination


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