Term of Award

Summer 2024

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Ryan Couillou

Committee Member 1

Jeffrey Klibert

Committee Member 2

Dorthie Cross


Abundant research suggests alcohol use among college students as a public health concern (SAMHSA, 2014). Previous studies support rumination, a manner of responding to emotional distress which involves repetitively and passively focusing on the distress, is linked to problematic alcohol use among college students (Oswalt et al., 2020). On the other hand, not all college students who experience rumination engage in problematic alcohol use which suggests the presence of a moderating variable. Due to its emotion regulating abilities and positive associations to well-being, self-compassion may be on factor that affects the relationship between rumination and alcohol use (Diedrich et al., 2014; Neff, 2003). Although self-compassion interventions have positive outcomes, prior studies have not explored the influence self-compassion has on the relationship between these two key variables. Thus, the current study aimed to add valuable insight in the literature by exploring the relationship between rumination and alcohol use and how dimensions of self-compassion may moderate this relationship. A college sample completed self-report measures of these constructs. As hypothesized, results indicated rumination was significantly positively correlated to alcohol use. Further, self-compassion was significantly inversely related to rumination and alcohol use. Moderation analyses revealed two dimensions of self-compassion (i.e., self-kindness and common humanity) did significantly moderate the relationship between rumination and alcohol use. The third dimension (i.e., mindfulness) did not moderate the relationship between rumination and alcohol use. Between group differences based on rurality and race/ethnicity were further explored and discussed. Other clinical implications and future directions are discussed.

Research Data and Supplementary Material