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      How and when does emotional expression help?

      ,

      Review of General Psychology

      American Psychological Association (APA)

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          Most cited references 72

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          Responses to depression and their effects on the duration of depressive episodes.

          I propose that the ways people respond to their own symptoms of depression influence the duration of these symptoms. People who engage in ruminative responses to depression, focusing on their symptoms and the possible causes and consequences of their symptoms, will show longer depressions than people who take action to distract themselves from their symptoms. Ruminative responses prolong depression because they allow the depressed mood to negatively bias thinking and interfere with instrumental behavior and problem-solving. Laboratory and field studies directly testing this theory have supported its predictions. I discuss how response styles can explain the greater likelihood of depression in women than men. Then I intergrate this response styles theory with studies of coping with discrete events. The response styles theory is compared to other theories of the duration of depression. Finally, I suggest what may help a depressed person to stop engaging in ruminative responses and how response styles for depression may develop.
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            Integration of the cognitive and the psychodynamic unconscious.

             M Epstein (1994)
            Cognitive-experiential self-theory integrates the cognitive and the psychodynamic unconscious by assuming the existence of two parallel, interacting modes of information processing: a rational system and an emotionally driven experiential system. Support for the theory is provided by the convergence of a wide variety of theoretical positions on two similar processing modes; by real-life phenomena--such as conflicts between the heart and the head; the appeal of concrete, imagistic, and narrative representations; superstitious thinking; and the ubiquity of religion throughout recorded history--and by laboratory research, including the prediction of new phenomena in heuristic reasoning.
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              Written emotional expression: effect sizes, outcome types, and moderating variables.

               Joshua Smyth (1998)
              A research synthesis was conducted to examine the relationship between a written emotional expression task and subsequent health. This writing task was found to lead to significantly improved health outcomes in healthy participants. Health was enhanced in 4 outcome types--reported physical health, psychological well-being, physiological functioning, and general functioning--but health behaviors were not influenced. Writing also increased immediate (pre- to postwriting) distress, which was unrelated to health outcomes. The relation between written emotional expression and health was moderated by a number of variables, including the use of college students as participants, gender, duration of the manipulation, publication status of the study, and specific writing content instructions.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Review of General Psychology
                Review of General Psychology
                American Psychological Association (APA)
                1089-2680
                2001
                2001
                : 5
                : 3
                : 187-212
                Article
                10.1037/1089-2680.5.3.187
                © 2001

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