Role of prior negative cognitions on the development of intrusive thoughts

Sarah Wilksch, Reginald Nixon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    This analogue study examined how individuals' prior negative cognitions influenced intrusion frequency, intrusion-related distress and thought suppression. Participants at high (HR) and low risk (LR) for interpreting their intrusive thoughts in a negative manner viewed a graphic trauma film and their subsequent intrusion development was assessed. HR participants experienced a greater frequency of intrusions and intrusion-related distress compared to LR participants. Trait thought suppression moderated the relationship between risk for the negative interpretation of intrusions and intrusion frequency. The findings suggest that pre-existing negative cognitions are influential in the development of intrusions following exposure to an analogue trauma.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)121-129
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • Intrusive thoughts
    • Thought suppression
    • Trauma


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