Comparing the effects of emotional disclosure and peer helping writing on psychological distress among Chinese international students: The moderating role of rumination

William Tsai, Christina S. Lee, Victoria Monte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives:: This study tested the effects of emotional disclosure writing and peer helping writing in reducing psychological distress among Chinese international students. This study also examined whether rumination and ambivalence over emotion expression moderated the effects of emotional disclosure and peer helping writing. Method:: One hundred forty-four Chinese international students were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: emotional disclosure, peer helping, or neutral control writing. Participants completed two 20-min writing sessions and questionnaires at baseline, 2-month follow-up, and 4-month follow-up. Results:: We found no significant differences across the three writing conditions in levels of psychological distress over time. However, rumination emerged as a significant moderator in both emotional disclosure and peer helping intervention conditions. High ruminators generally experienced significant reductions in depressive symptoms, whereas low ruminators experienced increased depressive symptoms. Conclusions:: These findings demonstrate that the benefits of writing interventions may vary as a function of rumination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1556-1572
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Volume77
Issue number7
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Chinese international students
  • emotional disclosure
  • expressive writing
  • peer helping
  • writing interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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