Repetitive negative thinking (RNT) is thought to contribute to the maintenance of many emotional disorders. Although several measures of RNT are available, the items of most of these instruments index RNT that is specific to particular diagnostic groups (e.g., RNT about depression symptoms). This has limited our ability to examine the relevance of RNT across diagnostic groups and advance our understanding of RNT as a transdiagnostic process. This study evaluated the psychometric properties of the Repetitive Thinking Questionnaire (RTQ), a transdiagnostic measure of RNT. In a clinical sample of individuals with anxiety and depressive disorders (N=186), the RTQ demonstrated good internal consistency, convergent, and divergent validity. Supporting the transdiagnostic nature of the measure, the Repetitive Negative Thinking subscale of the RTQ was associated with a variety of negative emotions and metacognitive beliefs, and significantly predicted symptoms of multiple disorders when controlling for neuroticism. Our findings support the use of the RTQ as a transdiagnostic, trans-emotional measure of maladaptive repetitive thought following distressing events, with scope to increase efficiency and reduce burden on patients by assessing RNT in clinical settings with one short measure. Experimental and longitudinal research identifying mechanisms driving RNT using the RTQ would be informative for theory and treatment developments.
- Repetitive negative thinking