Dr. Daniel W. Russell and Dr. W. Todd Abraham contributed equally to the study. We thank Dr. Chih-Yuan Weng for his valuable comments and we are grateful for Salomon Benzimra's editorial comments.
Experiential Self-Focus Writing as a Facilitator of Processing an Interpersonal Hurt
Article first published online: 29 JUN 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume 68, Issue 10, pages 1089–1110, October 2012
How to Cite
Yu-Hsin Liao, K., Wei, M., Russell, D. W. and Abraham, W. T. (2012), Experiential Self-Focus Writing as a Facilitator of Processing an Interpersonal Hurt. J. Clin. Psychol., 68: 1089–1110. doi: 10.1002/jclp.21886
- Issue published online: 11 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 29 JUN 2012
- experiential self-focus writing;
- negative affect;
- anger rumination;
- latent growth curve analysis
This study examined the effects of experiential self-focus writing on changes in psychological outcomes (i.e., unforgiveness and negative affect) after an interpersonal hurt and the buffering effects of experiential self-focus writing on the association between anger rumination and these psychological outcomes.
A sample of 182 college students who had experienced interpersonal hurt were randomly assigned to either the experiential self-focus writing condition, in which participants wrote about their feelings and experiences related to the hurt, or to a control writing condition in which they wrote about a recent neutral event.
Latent growth curve analyses indicated that changes in unforgiveness over time did not differ between the experiential self-focus writing and the control writing conditions. However, relative to the control writing condition, negative affect decreased faster during writing and increased more slowly at follow-ups in the experiential self-focus writing condition.
The results supported the hypothesis that negative affect resulting from an interpersonal hurt would significantly decrease over time among participants in the experiential self-focus writing group compared with the control group. Implications of experiential self-focus writing for interpersonal hurt and directions for future studies are discussed.