There is a growing body of literature suggesting that reactions to stressful life events, such as intrusive thoughts, physiological hyperarousal, and cognitive/behavioral avoidance (i.e., stress-related symptoms) may increase risk for thinking about and attempting suicide. Cognitive vulnerability models have identified rumination (i.e., perseverating on a negative mood) as a maladaptive response that may increase risk for suicidal behavior, as it has also been linked to depression. The present study examined the direct and indirect effects of stress-related symptoms on suicidal ideation through rumination and depressive symptoms. Participants were 1375 young adults, primarily non-White (78 %) females (72 %), recruited from a public university in the Northeastern U.S., who completed measures of stress-related symptoms (as a response to a stressful event), rumination, depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation. The relation between stress-related symptoms and suicidal ideation was accounted for by the brooding subtype of rumination and depressive symptoms among females. Depressive symptoms, but not rumination, better accounted for suicidal ideation among males. These findings suggest that the role of brooding and depressive symptoms in the relationship between stress-related symptoms and suicidal ideation may vary by gender.