A replication and extension of the written expressive disclosure paradigm: a longitudinal study

Cantekin, Duygu
The aim of the current study was to test the effectiveness of the written disclosure paradigm on psychological health, cognitive processing, dispositional and social factors and to improve the paradigm on the basis of the underlying mechanisms responsible for its benefits. Participants consisting of 73 Middle East Technical University students were randomly assigned to one of three groups to write during 30-min sessions on 3 consecutive days: (1) Guided Disclosure Group (GDG); (2) Standard Disclosure Group (SDG); (3) Control Group (CG). GDG wrote about their most upsetting life events according to exposure, cognitive reappraisal, and benefit-finding instructions, respectively. SDG wrote about their deepest thoughts and feelings related to their most upsetting life events. CG described familiar environments without including any emotion or opinion. All participants completed measures of psychological health (i.e., general psychological distress symptoms), cognitive processing (i.e., intrusive thoughts, avoidance, and appraisal of the event), dispositional (i.e., trait anxiety, alexithymia, coping styles) and social factors (i.e., perceived social support, and severity of negative life events) prior to the first writing session, following the third writing session, and a 1-month follow-up. It was expected that GDG would report more improvements in outcome measures, relative to SDG. In turn, SDG was expected to display greater improvements, relative to CG. All groups reported similar improvements in psychological distress symptoms, cognitive processing and alexithymia. The findings were discussed in terms of relevant literature.


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Citation Formats
D. Cantekin, “A replication and extension of the written expressive disclosure paradigm: a longitudinal study,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2008.