Expression of stressful experiences through writing: Effects of a self-regulation manipulation for pessimists and optimists
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This study assessed the effectiveness of a writing task designed to foster self-regulatory coping with stressful experiences to reduce medical clinic visits and to promote adjustment. Students entering college (<xh:i xmlns:search="" xmlns="" xmlns:xsi="" xmlns:xh="">N</xh:i> = 122) who were classified as optimists or pessimists by using a dispositional optimism measure participated in a self-regulation task (expressing thoughts and feelings about entering college and then formulating coping plans), a disclosure task (expressing thoughts and feelings only), or a control task (writing about trivial topics) for 3 weekly writing sessions. Among optimists, both the self-regulation task and the disclosure task reduced illness-related clinic visits during the following month; among pessimists, only the self-regulation task reduced clinic visits. In general, the self-regulation task beneficially affected mood state and college adjustment whereas the disclosure task increased grade point averages. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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