Impact of Self-Generated Thoughts on Anxiety Symptoms Among University Students: Mediating Role of Rumination


  • Iqra Kiran Foundation University
  • Sadaf Ahsan Foundation University
  • Sadaf Zaheer Foundation University
  • Ayisha Naz King Edward Medical University


self-generated thoughts, daydreaming, anxiety, rumination, university students


The present study aimed to investigate the impact of self-generated thoughts (daydreaming) on symptoms of anxiety among university students. Furthermore, mediating role of rumination was also studied. A sample of 300 university students aged 18-28 years and with minimum education of 14 years was collected through purposive sampling technique from different universities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Self-report measures including Day-Dreaming Frequency Subscale of Imaginal Process Inventory (Singer & Antrobus, 1970) Ruminative Response Scale (Treynor, Gonzalez, & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2003), and Beck Anxiety Inventory (Beck, Epstein, Brown, & Steer, 1988) were administered to measure study variables. Results yielded self-generated thoughts as a significant positive predictor of anxiety symptoms, whereas rumination was found to significantly predict anxiety in positive direction. Moreover, rumination mediated the relationship between self-generated thoughts and symptoms of anxiety. Female students scored significantly higher on daydreaming, rumination, and anxiety symptoms as compared to male university students. This study will be helpful for mental health professionals to gain a better understanding that how daydreaming can have an impact on individual’s cognition and thus can raise more awareness about dangers associated with excessive daydreaming.