Graduate students regularly report high levels of stress and burnout. Many of those same students utilize social support networks, which can act as stress buffers. This study evaluated excessive negative talk about issues (co-rumination) and its effects on that social-support to burnout (emotional exhaustion) relationship and predicted that co-rumination would act as a suppressor variable. Graduate student volunteers (N = 213) reported their levels of social support, co-rumination, and emotional exhaustion. Data indicated that co-rumination did mediate the social support-to-emotional exhaustion relationship on two dimensions. This project purports that, while social support is important, the content of socially-supportive interactions may also be important when attempting to intervene in stressful situations, especially when those interactions involve co-ruminative messages.
Boren, J. P. (2013). Co-rumination partially mediates the relationship between social support and emotional exhaustion among graduate students. Communication Quarterly, 61(3). 253-267. doi: 10.1080/01463373.2012.751436