[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the past two decades, expressive writing interventions have been used successfully to reduce distress and improve well-being for those dealing with traumatic events, stressors, and illnesses. The purpose of this study was to investigate an expressive writing intervention for lesbian-related stressors. As expected, writing about traumatic events related to sexual orientation reduced self-reported confusion and perceived stress over a 2-month period for those lesbians who were less open about their sexual orientation. Interestingly, writing about such traumatic experiences was associated with increases in confusion and perceived stress for those who were more open about their sexual orientation. Applying this paradigm to assist individuals in coping with stressors related to their sexual orientation represents an important addition to the expressive writing literature. Furthermore, it offers a promising, cost-effective method to assist closeted lesbians in coping with stressors related to their sexual orientation.
Article · Jun 2005
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study examined differences in natural word use between psychiatric outpatients and nonclinical controls. The Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) was used to determine its utility for the study of linguistic features of psychopathology. 27 patients and 17 community volunteers engaged in a standardized writing assignment. Computerized word count was used to identify linguistic differences between the two groups. Psychiatric patients used fewer words pertaining to optimism/energy, basic cognitive mechanisms, exclusion, and bodily functions compared to the controls.
They also tended to use fewer references to the future and communication. No differences were found on pronoun use, and sensation/perception. The LIWC captured features of natural word use that are of conceptual as well as empirical relevance for personality and psychopathology research.
Article · Jan 2008
Doerte U. Junghaenel Joshua M. Smyth Laura Santner
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study investigated how written emotional disclosure reflects the processes by which adolescents cope with a traumatic event they experienced collectively—the sudden death of a classmate. Twenty high school students wrote about their emotional reactions to the death on 3 consecutive days. The writings were coded using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) and analyzed using a mixed-methods software (T-LAB). A measure of posttraumatic stress symptoms (Impact of Events Scale–Revised) obtained at baseline (14 days after the death) and 1 week and 4 months' postwriting was used to classify the students into four adjustment trajectories: Delayed Distress, Recovery, Stable-Negative, and Stable-Positive. Textual analysis revealed a progressive elaboration of the traumatic event across the 3 writing days, moving from a factual perspective to the processing of emotions to an integrated emotional and cognitive restructuring of the event. The nature of the writing differed across adjustment trajectories. Specifically, students in the Stable-Positive and Recovery trajectories made greater mention of the deceased classmate and reflected greater cognitive processing of the trauma.
Students in the Stable-Negative and Delayed Distress trajectories used more self-references and negative emotion words and showed a greater degree of inhibition. The results provide preliminary clues to adjustment processes in adolescent bereavement. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article · Sep 2010
Davide Margola Federica Facchin Sara Molgora Tracey A. Revenson