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Frequency of leisure activities and depressive symptomatology in elderly people: the moderating role of rumination

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 November 2013

Virginia Fernández-Fernández*
Psychology Department, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain
María Márquez-González
Biological and Health Psychology Department, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Andrés Losada-Baltar
Psychology Department, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain
Rosa Romero-Moreno
Psychology Department, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain
Correspondence should be addressed to: Virginia Fernández-Fernández, Departamento de Psicología, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Avd. Atenas s/n 28922, Alcorcón, Madrid 28922, Spain. Phone: +34-914888912. Email:



The positive effects of leisure activities on depressive symptomatology are well known. However, the extent to which emotional regulation variables moderate that relationship has scarcely been studied, especially in older people. The aim of this study is to analyze the moderating role of rumination in the relation between leisure activities and depressive symptoms.


Participants in this study were 311 people, aged 60 to 90 years (mean age: 71.27 years; SD: 6.99; 71.7% women). We evaluated depressive symptomatology, frequency of leisure activities, and rumination. We carried out a hierarchical regression analysis to confirm the moderating role of rumination.


We obtained a model that explains 39.4% of the variance of depressive symptomatology. Main effects were found for the frequency of leisure activities (β = −0.397; p < 0.01) and for rumination (β = 0.497; p < 0.01). Moreover, we found a significant effect of the interaction between frequency of leisure activities and rumination (β = 0.110; p < 0.05), suggesting that rumination plays a moderating role in the relation between leisure activities and depressive symptomatology.


A risk profile of elderly people may consist of those who engage in low levels of leisure activities but also use more frequently the dysfunctional emotional regulation strategy of rumination.

Research Article
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2013 

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