Friday, July 30, 2010

writing my teaching narrative makes me nostalgic but not in a bad way;or, me in college

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"We examined whether instructing participants to write in a narrative fashion about stressful life events would produce superior physical and psychological health benefits relative to standard expressive writing instructions that do not specify the essay's structure. Undergraduates (N = 101) were randomly assigned to engage in two, 20-minute narrative writing, standard expressive writing, or control writing tasks," scientists in the United States report.

"Follow-up data were obtained one month later. The essays of the narrative writing group evidenced higher levels of narrative structure than did those of the expressive writing group. Greater narrative structure was associated with mental health gains, and self-rated emotionality of the essays was associated with less perceived stress at follow-up. In addition, the narrative and expressive writing groups reported lower levels of perceived stress and depressive symptoms relative to controls but did not differ from each other with regard to these outcomes. Health care utilization at follow-up did not vary by group assignment," wrote S. Danoffburg and colleagues.

The researchers concluded: "Suggest that both emotional expression and narrative structure may be key factors underlying expressive writing's mental health benefits. also suggest that, among college students, instruction in narrative formation does not increase the positive effects of expressive writing relative to standard expressive writing instructions."

Danoffburg and colleagues published their study in Anxiety Stress and Coping (Does narrative writing instruction enhance the benefits of expressive writing? Anxiety Stress and Coping, 2010;23(3):341-352).

For more information, contact C.E. Mosher, Mem Sloan Kettering Canc Center, Dept. of Psychiat & Behav Sci, 641 Lexington Ave, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10022, USA.

Publisher contact information for the journal Anxiety Stress and Coping is: Taylor & Francis Ltd., 4 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon OX14 4RN, Oxon, England.

Keywords: City:New York, State:NY, Country:United States, Anxiety and Coping, Life Sciences, Mental Health, Psychology

This article was prepared by Psychology & Psychiatry Journal editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2010, Psychology & Psychiatry Journal via

Source Citation
"Research data from S. Danoffburg and colleagues update understanding of behavior research." Psychology & Psychiatry Journal 8 May 2010: 89. Health Reference Center Academic. Web. 30 July 2010.
Document URL

Gale Document Number:A225207336

Disclaimer:This information is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for professional care.

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