Scaini, S., Palmieri, S., Caselli, G., & Nobile, M. (2021). Rumination thinking in childhood and adolescence: a brief review of candidate genes. Journal of Affective Disorders


Background: rumination has been reported as a cognitive vulnerability factor in adolescent and adult depression. The present brief review aimed at summarizing the results of the genetic studies that investigate the candidate genes for rumination in children and adolescents.

Methods: bibliographic research was conducted on PubMed and Science Direct from their inception to February 2020. The search terms used were: ‘rumination, ruminative thinking, repetitive thinking and ‘gene, gen*’.

Results: eight studies were identified. Results suggest that variations in the 5-HTTLPR and BDNF genes may contribute to the tendency to ruminate, modelling the relationship between life stress and rumination.

Limitations: the interpretation of these results is limited by the sample sizes of the selected studies, the study designs, and the heterogeneity of the instruments assessing rumination.

Conclusions: these findings partially support the notion that variation in in the 5-HTTLPR and BDNF genes is associated with biological sensitivity to rumination.