Relationship of rumination and self-compassion to posttraumatic stress symptoms among Veterans

Abigail E. Ramon, Kyle Possemato, Dessa Bergen-Cico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Past research demonstrates interrelationships amongst rumination, self-compassion, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. However, little research has considered rumination and self-compassion together in relation to PTSD in clinical populations. In this cross-sectional study, we examined the unique effect of self-compassion on PTSD beyond the effect of rumination. Secondarily, we examined if rumination mediates the effect of self-compassion on PTSD. Participants included 52 US military Veterans (73.1% male) enrolled in a community support program for PTSD who completed self-report measures of study variables at one time point. Hierarchical regression results showed rumination was related to higher PTSD scores (f2  = .12; small ES) in step one, and the addition of self-compassion in step two was related to lower PTSD scores (f2  = .10; small ES) and explained a unique 9% of the variance. In contrast to previous research, results showed self-compassion mediated the relationship between rumination and PTSD, with a significant indirect effect (ab) of.20 (95% confidence interval [CI] = .028 to.457). Findings suggest the explanatory value of self-compassion for PTSD after accounting for rumination and may also reflect a process where rumination about behaviors one regrets gives rise to uncompassionate responding, which then contributes to greater PTSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalMilitary Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Self-compassion
  • Veterans
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • rumination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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