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Expressief schrijven en depressie : een onderzoek naar verschillen tussen de genoemde emoties en het gehanteerde tijdsperspectief in e-mails van deelnemers met veel, gemiddeld of weinig verbetering van depressieve klachten.

Kip, H. (2012) Expressief schrijven en depressie : een onderzoek naar verschillen tussen de genoemde emoties en het gehanteerde tijdsperspectief in e-mails van deelnemers met veel, gemiddeld of weinig verbetering van depressieve klachten.

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Abstract:Background: Compared to the general population, relatively more people from fifty years and older suffer from a minor depression, respectively 5,2% versus 8 to 16%. The literature shows the need for a preventive, easily accessible intervention which focuses on both negative and positive aspects of life. These conditions are met in the intervention Expressive writing, developed by Pennebaker. The current study uses a modified version of Expressive writing. The course is followed by a group of 42 people of 40 years and older with minor depressive complaints. The participants have to complete seven lessons which contain psycho-education about emotions and an assignment that encourages the identification of emotions. They have to write a story about an event and accompanying emotions. Research has shown that the course is effective: the decline of depressive complaints, measured by the CES-D, is significant. It is clear that the course is effective, but more knowledge about why it works is necessary. Methods: The 42 respondents are divided into three groups based on relative progress in depressive complaints as measured by the CES-D. These three groups, called strong, moderate and no improvement, are compared to each other to search for relations between improvement and content of the written stories. The current study aims at the amount of mentioned emotions, the two lessons that focus on positive feelings, and the used time perspective. Six of the seven short stories written by the respondents are used to search for differences between groups. Emotion words are classified with a coding scheme and added per group. The time perspective is determined for each lesson. The statistical program SPSS is used to perform analyses and find differences. In this study, the qualitative and quantitative approaches are combined. Results: The analyses showed no significant differences between the three groups concerning the amount of mentioned emotions. In the two lessons aimed at positive events, the strongly improved group mentions more positive emotions than the group with no improvement. Also, the not improved group mentions significantly more emotions associated with sadness than the strongly improved group. There was no difference found between the three groups concerning the time perspective. A further exploration of the six used lessons showed that the time perspective shifts from the past to the present. Conclusion: Many of the expected differences were not found, which contrasts with the literature. This discrepancy can be explained by several methodological factors, so further research is necessary to draw definitive conclusions. The main finding of this study is the association between improvement, positive emotions and the two positive lessons. A recommendation that arises from this, is that positive elements could be intertwined in all lessons. This contradicts with the assumption of Pennebaker, who claims that it’s beneficial to give respondents a free hand in the writing process. To establish the exact relation between positive lessons and improvement, further research is recommended.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/62468
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