The Effects of an Expressive Writing Intervention on Facilitating Posttraumatic Growth
1 online resource (95 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Traumatic experiences are highly prevalent, and their consequences potentially severe. As such, there is a pressing need for the development of novel interventions which may ameliorate the negative consequences of trauma and promote positive outcomes. The present study investigated the effects of a novel expressive writing intervention on posttraumatic growth (PTG) and other outcomes in a sample of university students (N = 79). Participants who had experienced a recent trauma or highly stressful event were assigned to one of three study groups. They were then instructed to write about either a neutral topic, any thoughts and feelings they had about the traumatic experience (standard expressive writing), or the positive aspects of their experience (directed expressive writing). The directed expressive writing activity was developed as a novel intervention for this study. Participants engaged in the writing activity three times over the course of one week, and follow-up assessments were conducted four weeks later. It was expected that the directed expressive writing activity would promote the most positive outcomes, including higher levels of PTG and lower levels of psychological distress. The results of this study show that participants in each of the three writing groups did not report significant differences in any of the major dependent variables at the follow-up assessment, including psychological distress, intrusive rumination, deliberate rumination, found meaning, and PTG. These results indicate that, among this sample of participants, both the standard and directed writing interventions did not promote improved outcomes over time. Potential explanations for the lack of significant results are explored, and limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Cann, ArnieTedeschi, RichardFurr, Susan
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2015.
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