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EXPRESSIVE WRITING: QUALITY OF LIFE, PRONOUNS AND WORKING MEMORY - A PILOT STUDY
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

For 30 years researchers have studied Expressive Writing (EW) - writing emotionally about a trauma 3-5 times for 15-30 minutes, while controls (CW) objectively write about, most often, time management. Previous research has documented associations, in the trauma condition, between flexible use of pronouns and physical health, or between trauma writing and improvement of working memory (WM). The main aim of the current study was to see if there is a relation between flexible use of first-person pronoun singular (“I”) in EW and improved results on WM test, as well as on quality of life and self-reported illness. In an Internet study participants were recruited through convenience and snowball sampling and randomly divided on conditions. The final sample consisted of 10 participants each in EW and CW: 13 women, 6 men and 1 non-binary, 21-69 years, most of them well educated. Outcome measures were WM test (Automated version of Operation Span Task; AOSPAN), self-reported quality of life (Brunnsviken Brief Quality of Life; BBQ) and self-reported illness (days of symptoms and restricted activities). JASP was used for the statistics. A measure of flexible use of the Swedish pronoun “jag” (“I”) was tested and found to associate with significant improvements in AOSPAN results only; unexpectedly within the whole sample. On condition one significant result was found: EW improved their quality of life. The increase in AOSPAN results is discussed, as well as writing instructions and baseline assessments. The small sample with self-reported health measures and online WM test limited the study. Replications of the results are needed.    

Abstract [sv]

I 30 år har forskare studerat Expressivt skrivande (EW) - att skriva känslomässigt om ett trauma 3-5 gånger à 15-30 minuter. Kontrollbetingelsen (CW) har ofta bestått av att objektivt beskriva sin tidsanvändning. Tidigare forskning har i traumabetingelsen påvisat samband mellan en flexibel användning av pronomen och fysisk hälsa, eller mellan traumaskrivande och förbättrade resultat på test av arbetsminne (WM). Huvudsyftet med den föreliggande studien var att se om det finns ett samband mellan en flexibel användning i EW av pronomenet första person singular (”jag”) och förbättrade resultat på arbetsminnestest, samt på livskvalitet och självrapporterad ohälsa. Tio deltagare vardera deltog i experiment- respektive kontrollgruppen: 13 kvinnor, 6 män och 1 icke-binär, 21-69 år; de flesta välutbildade. Deltagarna rekryterades genom bekvämlighets- och snöbollsurval och fördelades slumpvis till betingelserna. En internetstudie genomfördes, med utfallsmåtten arbetsminnestest (Automated version of Operation Span Task; AOSPAN), självskattad livskvalitet (Brunnsviken Brief Quality of Life; BBQ), samt självskattad ohälsa (dagar med symptom respektive med begränsade aktiviteter). JASP användes för de statistiska analyserna. Ett mått för flexibel användning av det svenska pronomenet ”jag” testades och visade sig vara associerat med signifikanta förbättringar enbart av AOSPAN-resultatet, men förvånande nog inom hela urvalet. I övrigt hittades endast en skillnad mellan betingelserna, nämligen att experimentgruppen signifikant förbättrade sin självskattade livskvalitet. Ökningen av AOSPAN-resultaten diskuteras, liksom skrivinstruktioner och baslinjeskattningar. Studien begränsades av ett litet urval, självskattade hälsomått och nätbaserat arbetsminnestest. Replikationer av resultaten är nödvändiga.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 39
Keywords [en]
Expressive writing, time management, working memory, AOSPAN, OSPAN, flexible use of pronouns, first-person pronoun singular. physical health, psychological health, optimism, LOT-R, Quality of Life, BBQ, JASP.
Keywords [sv]
Expressivt skrivande, tidsanvändning, arbetsminne, AOSPAN, OSPAN, flexibel pronomenanvändning, första person pronomen singular, fysisk hälsa, psykologisk hälsa, optimism, LOT-R, Quality of Life, livskvalitet, BBQ, JASP.
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-148802OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-148802DiVA, id: diva2:1216560
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Available from: 2018-06-15 Created: 2018-06-11 Last updated: 2018-06-15Bibliographically approved

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