Document Type

Honors Project

Publication Date



Rumination is a transdiagnostic risk factor for various forms of psychopathology. Mindfulness, which focuses on the regulation of one’s attention, has shown to be effective at reducing rumination. Reductions in rumination also appear to mediate the effect of mindfulness interventions on improvements in psychological symptoms. However, the exact mechanism through which mindfulness reduces rumination is not well understood. Attention control, which has been previously implicated as the mechanism through which rumination increases symptoms and forms the basis of mindfulness, is of particular interest. In this study we recruited 48 high ruminating college students and randomly assigned them to a brief two-week mindfulness or active control intervention. Trait mindfulness, rumination, and attention control (measured through the antisaccade task and Emotional Go/No-Go task) were measured pre and post intervention. Our results showed a significant reduction in rumination following the intervention and suggest that this reduction was greater for the mindfulness group than for the control group. In addition, results of our mediation model suggested that rumination scores following the intervention were predicted by attention control prior to the intervention (measured by the antisaccade task). These results add to the growing body of research supporting the efficacy of brief mindfulness interventions in reducing rumination. Such treatments, which are lower in cost and time commitment, are important for reaching wider communities. In addition, the use of two tasks to measure attention control improved reliability and validity of this study while highlighting the critical need for emotional attention control measures.

Level of Honors

magna cum laude




Lori Hilt, Amanda Draheim