Who does expressive writing work for? Examination of alexithymia, splitting, and repressive coping style as moderators of the expressive writing paradigm


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Karen Baikie, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Black Dog Institute, UNSW, Hospital Road, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia (e-mail: k.baikie@unsw.edu.au).


Objective. This paper examines the moderating influence of alexithymia, splitting, and repressive coping style in the expressive writing paradigm.

Method. Eighty-eight university students randomized to four weekly 20-minute expressive or neutral writing sessions, with 1-month follow-up.

Results. Expressive writing was more beneficial for individuals scoring higher on alexithymia and splitting, but not repressive coping.

Conclusions. Future research should include personality measures in explorations of expressive writing to further understand the boundary conditions of the expressive writing paradigm.