Experimental disclosure and its moderators: a meta-analysis.

Psychol Bull. 2006 Nov;132(6):823-65.

Frattaroli J1.

PMID:17073523 DOI:10.1037/0033-2909.132.6.823

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17073523

 

Disclosing information, thoughts, and feelings about personal and meaningful topics (experimental disclosure) is purported to have various health and psychological consequences (e.g., J. W. Pennebaker, 1993). Although the results of 2 small meta-analyses (P. G. Frisina, J. C. Borod, & S. J. Lepore, 2004; J. M. Smyth, 1998) suggest that experimental disclosure has a positive and significant effect, both used a fixed effects approach, limiting generalizability. Also, a plethora of studies on experimental disclosure have been completed that were not included in the previous analyses. One hundred forty-six randomized studies of experimental disclosure were collected and included in the present meta-analysis. Results of random effects analyses indicate that experimental disclosure is effective, with a positive and significant average r-effect size of .075. In addition, a number of moderators were identified.

Create through me, oh god this hurts: Creative writing, spirituality, and insanity

Pages 199-207 | Published online: 16 Aug 2006
The purpose of this article is to present a spiritual perspective of creative writing, discuss the impact of emotional trauma and psychotropic medication on creativity, and explore the dilemmas posed by pharmacological disconnection from the Spiritual Divine.

Writing for protection: Reflective practice as a counsellor

Pages 191-198 | Published online: 21 Aug 2006

Expressive and reflective writing has been one way of recording personal changes and losses. It has also been key in surviving the sometimes traumatic work involved in working with clients in psychotherapeutic relationships. This article explores some of the underlying research into writing for personal and professional development with illustrations from both personal and professional life.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0889367042000197376

The Effects of Expressive Writing on Adjustment to HIV

Inna D. Rivkin; Julie Gustafson; Ilene Weingarten; Dorothy Chin

DISCLOSURES

AIDS and Behavior. 2006;10(1):13-26.

Previous research suggests that writing about stressful experiences results in better health and psychological well-being. In the present study, a multi-ethnic sample of 79 HIV-positive women and men participated in a structured interview, and wrote about either their deepest thoughts and feelings about living with HIV (expressive writing) or their activities in the last 24 hr (control). Sixty-two participants returned for the 2-month follow-up and 50 returned for the 6-month follow-up interview. Oral fluid samples of beta2-microglobulin were taken at the baseline and follow-up assessments to examine the immunological effects of writing. No effects of writing condition were found, but expressive writing participants who included increasing insight/causation and social words in their writing had better immune function and reported more positive changes at follow-up. Results suggest that cognitive processing and changes in social interactions may be critical to the benefits of writing.

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/536484

Experimental disclosure and its moderators: a meta-analysis.

Psychol Bull. 2006 Nov;132(6):823-65.

Frattaroli J1.

Disclosing information, thoughts, and feelings about personal and meaningful topics (experimental disclosure) is purported to have various health and psychological consequences (e.g., J. W. Pennebaker, 1993). Although the results of 2 small meta-analyses (P. G. Frisina, J. C. Borod, & S. J. Lepore, 2004; J. M. Smyth, 1998) suggest that experimental disclosure has a positive and significant effect, both used a fixed effects approach, limiting generalizability. Also, a plethora of studies on experimental disclosure have been completed that were not included in the previous analyses. One hundred forty-six randomized studies of experimental disclosure were collected and included in the present meta-analysis. Results of random effects analyses indicate that experimental disclosure is effective, with a positive and significant average r-effect size of .075. In addition, a number of moderators were identified.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17073523

Self-report and linguistic indicators of emotional expression in narratives as predictors of adjustment to cancer.

J Behav Med. 2006 Aug;29(4):335-45. Epub 2006 Jul 15.

Owen JE1, Giese-Davis J, Cordova M, Kronenwetter C, Golant M, Spiegel D.

Emotional expression and cognitive efforts to adapt to cancer have been linked to better psychological adjustment. However, little is known about the relationship between linguistic indicators of emotional and cognitive coping efforts and corresponding self-report measures of related constructs. In this study, we sought to evaluate the interrelationships between self-reports of emotional suppression and linguistic indicators of emotional and cognitive coping efforts in those living with cancer. Seventy-one individuals attending a community cancer support group completed measures of emotional suppression and mood disturbance and provided a written narrative describing their cancer experience. Self-reports of emotional suppression were associated with more rather than less distress. Although linguistic indicators of both emotional expression and cognitive processing were generally uncorrelated with self-report measures of emotional suppression and mood disturbance, a significant interaction was observed between emotional suppression and use of cognitive words on mood disturbance. Among those using higher levels of emotional suppression, increasing use of cognitive words was associated with greater levels of mood disturbance. These findings have implications for a) the therapeutic use of emotion in psychosocial interventions and b) the use of computer-assisted technologies to conduct content analysis.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16845583

How do I love thee? Let me count the words: the social effects of expressive writing.

Psychol Sci. 2006 Aug;17(8):660-4.

Slatcher RB1, Pennebaker JW.

Writing about emotional experiences is associated with a host of positive outcomes. This study extended the expressive-writing paradigm to the realm of romantic relationships to examine the social effects of writing. For 3 consecutive days, one person from each of 86 dating couples either wrote about his or her deepest thoughts and feelings about the relationship or wrote about his or her daily activities. In the days before and after writing, instant messages were collected from the couples. Participants who wrote about their relationship were significantly more likely to still be dating their romantic partners 3 months later. Linguistic analyses of the instant messages revealed that participants and their partners used significantly more positive and negative emotion words in the days following the expressive-writing manipulation if the participants had written about their relationship than if they had written about their daily activities. Increases in positive emotion words partially mediated the relation between expressive writing and relationship stability.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16913946

Expressive writing for high-risk drug dependent patients in a primary care clinic: a pilot study.

Harm Reduct J. 2006 Nov 19;3:34.

Baikie KA1, Wilhelm K, Johnson B, Boskovic M, Wedgwood L, Finch A, Huon G.

Previous research has shown that expressive writing is beneficial in terms of both physical and emotional health outcomes. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness and acceptability of a brief expressive writing intervention for high-risk drug dependent patients in a primary care clinic, and to determine the relationship between linguistic features of writing and health outcomes.

METHODS:

Participants completed four 15-minute expressive writing tasks over a week, in which they described their thoughts and feelings about a recent stressful event. Self-report measures of physical (SF-12) and psychological health (DASS-21) were administered at baseline and at a two-week follow-up. Fifty-three participants were recruited and 14 (26%) completed all measures.

RESULTS:

No statistically significant benefits in physical or psychological health were found, although all outcomes changed in the direction of improvement. The intervention was well-received and was rated as beneficial by participants. The use of more positive emotion words in writing was associated with improvements in depression and stress, and flexibility in first person pronoun use was associated with improvements in anxiety. Increasing use of cognitive process words was associated with worsening depressive mood.

CONCLUSION:

Although no significant benefits in physical and psychological health were found, improvements in psychological wellbeing were associated with certain writing styles and expressive writing was deemed acceptable by high-risk drug dependent patients. Given the difficulties in implementing psychosocial interventions in this population, further research using a larger sample is warranted.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17112389

Effects of writing about emotions versus goals on psychological and physical health among third-year medical students.

J Pers. 2006 Feb;74(1):267-86.

Austenfeld JL1, Paolo AM, Stanton AL.

A randomized, controlled trial compared writing about emotional topics (EMO) to writing about goals as the “best possible self” (BPS; after King, 2001) and evaluated emotional approach coping, i.e., efforts to cope through processing and expressing emotion, as a moderator of writing effects on psychological and physical health in 64 third-year medical students. In participants with higher baseline hostility, the EMO condition was associated with less hostility at 3 months compared to the BPS and control conditions. Emotional processing (EP) and emotional expression (EE) moderated the effect of experimental condition on depressive symptoms at 3 months; high EP/EE participants reported fewer depressive symptoms in the EMO condition, whereas low EP/EE individuals reported fewer depressive symptoms in the BPS condition compared to the EMO and control conditions. A moderating effect of EP on physical health was also identified, such that low EP individuals who wrote about goals (BPS) had fewer health care visits at 3 months compared to low EP participants in the EMO and control conditions.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16451232

Does expressive writing reduce health care utilization? A meta-analysis of randomized trials.

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2006 Apr;74(2):243-52.

Harris AH1.

This meta-analysis examined whether writing about stressful experiences affects health care utilization (HCU) compared with writing on neutral topics or no-writing control groups. Randomized controlled trials of 30 independent samples representing 2,294 participants were located that contained sufficient information to calculate effect sizes. After omitting one study as an outlier, the effects were combined within 3 homogeneous groups: healthy samples (13 studies), samples with preexisting medical conditions (6 studies), and samples prescreened for psychological criteria (10 studies). Combined effect sizes, Hedges’s g (95% confidence interval), with random effects estimation were 0.16 (0.02, 0.31), 0.21 (-0.02, 0.43), and 0.06 (-0.12, 0.24), respectively. Writing about stressful experiences reduces HCU in healthy samples but not in samples defined by medical diagnoses or exposure to stress or other psychological factors. The significance of these effects for individuals’ health is unknown.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16649869