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Expressive writing in context: The effects of a confessional setting and delivery of instructions on participant experience and language in writing

Authors

  • Arden L. Corter,

    1. Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
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  • Keith J. Petrie

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
      Correspondence should be addressed to Keith J. Petrie, Phd, Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand (e-mail: kj.petrie@auckland.ac.nz).
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Correspondence should be addressed to Keith J. Petrie, Phd, Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand (e-mail: kj.petrie@auckland.ac.nz).

Abstract

Objectives. Manipulations of the setting and instructions were tested for effects on language use and reported health following expressive writing (EW).

Methods. Participants (N = 76) wrote in one of three conditions that differed by setting and the delivery of writing instructions.

Results. The results showed that altering the context for EW influences participants' language use and their perceptions of the experience. There was no effect of conditions on self-reported health.

Conclusions. Future research should attend to the ways in which manipulations of EW context affect proposed mediators such as language, as well as outcomes of EW.

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