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The aim of the present study was to
find out what role rumination and co-rumination play in the experience of HS.
Getting more insight into the mechanisms behind HS may help in further
improving current treatments of HS. Our first hypothesis, that rumination has a
positive relationship with HS was supported by the findings of the study. This
means that more rumination is connected to a greater extent in the experience
of HS. The finding that co-rumination has a positive relationship with HS
supports our second hypothesis and shows that more co-rumination is connected
to an intensified experience of HS. Finally, contradicting to our prediction,
co-rumination was not found to have a stronger positive relationship with HS
than rumination has but instead the opposite was the case.

            The finding that
rumination is related to the experience of HS is in line with the current
literature about the topic (Fisher, 1989; Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991;
Stroebe et al., 2015). Constant thought about negative
events or feelings potentially hinders the integration and adaptation process
in the new environment (Stroebe et al., 2016). The RST proposes that also enhanced
negative thought, poor problem solving, inhibited instrumental behavior, and
reduction in social support enhance rumination. This in turn can lead to a more
intense experience of HS (Nolen-Hoeksema et al., 2008).

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Since ruminators might
start thinking that they are not able to do certain things anymore and dwell on
their depressive mood they might not seek out social contacts or even drive it
away and in turn have trouble adapting to the new situation, which makes them
miss home even more. AR1 

The finding that co-rumination has a positive relationship with HS seems
logical since both concepts are related to depressive symptoms (Bastin, Bijttebier, Raes,
& Vasey, 2014; Thurber & Walton, 2012)FB2 . Focusing on negative feelings increases
the experience of homesickness due to interference with productive problem
solving and withdrawal from social activities (Nolen-Hoeksema & Davis, 1999). FB3 

Contrary to our prediction we did
not find that co-rumination was more strongly correlated with HS than
rumination but instead that rumination has the stronger relationship with HS. This
could be due to the fact, that co-rumination can have positive effects (Rose, 2002). If a person seeks out social
support rumination can be reduced (Nolen-Hoeksema & Davis, 1999). The social component of
co-rumination might be an explanation for why it has a weaker effect on the
experience of HS.

In addition to the main findings,
the study also found that travel distance to home is significantly correlated
to HS, even when controlling for all other background variables. The longer it
takes people to travel home the higher the risk of becoming homesick. This is
in line with the findings of Fisher, Murray, and Frazer (Fisher et al., 1985). Nevertheless, it is important to
note that Fisher et al. (1985) only found a correlation between
travel distance and the occurrence of HS and not the severity of HS. They
argued that this might be due to the anticipated stress and complications of
visiting home when living further away. All other background variables (e.g. gender,
nationality, age, and satisfaction with University) were not significantly
related to HS.

Considering the results of the present
study mindfulness-based and cognitive behavioral interventions, which are suggested
to reduce rumination (Querstret & Cropley, 2013), could be a good addition
to existing treatment interventions for HS like social skills training (Nejad,
Pak & Zarghar, 2013).

Querstret and Cropley (2013) suggested mindfulness-based and
cognitive behavioral interventions as helpful in reducing rumination.
Effectiveness of these interventions in HS seems logical seeing that Nejad, Pak
and Zarghar (2013) suggested social skills training as effective treatment of
HS. Thurber (2005) proposed a “Multimodal Homesickness Prevention Package”
containing familiarizing with the new environment, psychoeducation about HS,
and help in developing coping mechanisms for HS. This seems in line with the
reports of rumination interfering with adjustment to the new environment. FB4 

The present study had some
limitations. One major issue is the generalizability of our findings. The
sample only consisted of international university students. It is therefore
unclear whether effects hold for students moving to a different place in the
same country, people who move for different reasons (e.g. refugees,
work-related relocation), and older or much younger age groups. Future studies
could compare national students to international students to see if there are
differences in the experience of HS in people who move to a different country
and people who move to a different city. Furthermore, different samples should
be investigated like older people, people who have to move because of a job,
and refugees. Another limitation that might be addressed in future studies is
the study design. In general, self-report questionnaires tend to be biased and
highly subjective which FB5 makes them not the best option for

Lastly, no causal inferences can be made, so it is not clear if being
homesick is a result or a cause of (co-) rumination. This study only
established a relationship between those concepts but cannot say if one leads
to the other. An
experimental design could give insight into the causal relationships between
rumination and HS and co-rumination and HSFB6  Future studies could conduct an experiment by
randomly assigning participants to three groups and inducing rumination in one
group, co-rumination in another group and keeping the third one as a control
group. Comparing the levels of HS in those three groups could give insight into
the causal relationship between rumination and HS and co-rumination and HS.

Despite these limitations, the present
investigation contributes to the understanding of how rumination and
co-rumination are related to HS. The results confirm a positive relationship
between rumination and HS, which is in line with recent literature.
Furthermore, the present study is one of the first to establish a positive
relationship between co-rumination and HS. This adds to the understanding of
the factors underlying HS and leads to the suggestion that those factors, since
they are malleable, can be targeted in order to help severely homesick


Should future research, using more advanced research methods such as
experiments, replicate and extend the link between rumination, co-rumination and
HS, this may have potential implications for clinical practice. For instance,
rumination-focused techniques may complement existing treatments for HS.

different measures can be taken in order to prevent rumination and HS, like
using the “Multimodal Homesickness Prevention Package” by Thurber (2005). If future research can replicate the finding that rumination is more
strongly correlated with HS than co-rumination, a social component should be
considered in HS treatment, which is also suggested by present research about
rumination.FB7  AR8 


 AR1Glaubst du das reicht? (bezogen auf Kommentar FB16)

 FB2You did a better job at explaining the link above. I generally don’t
like explanations like there is an association between A and B and between C
and B so C and A are linked. It is not very theoretical.

 FB3Huh? Please revisit introduction to see what you mentioned there on
this link. The reference refers to rumination only. I doubt rumination and
co-ruminations mechanisms work exactly the same

 FB4I would probably mention this separately, after all main results
have been discussed and embedded in the literature. Be very careful, btw, with
what you recommend on the basis of this research. I would specifically focus
your recommendations on how existing treatments may be improved using
rum-focused techniques.

 FB5This is a bold statement to make without any reference. Perhaps it
would be more appropriate to specifically mention one or two biases that survey
research is potentially affected by. I also do not like it very much that you
state it is not the best option, yet you provide no viable alternative research
methods. Perhaps nuance and be more specific in your recommendations.

 FB6Please give suggestions of what a good experiment would look like.



 FB7Presumably you will have made specific recommendations above, and
these can be revisited here in only one sentence.


I would like it if you nuance your
recommendations a bit, by saying: Should future research, using more advanced
research methods such as experiments, replicate and extend the link between
rumination, co-rumination and HS, this may have potential implications for
clinical practice. For instance, rumination-focused techniques may complement
existing treatments for HS.

 AR8Check that!

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