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Health Psychol. 2004 Sep;23(5):457-64.

Emotional expression in cyberspace: searching for moderators of the Pennebaker disclosure effect via e-mail.

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Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2004, USA.

Erratum in

  • Health Psychol. 2006 Jul;25(4):iii.


Research has shown that writing about emotional topics can positively influence physical and mental health. The current study tested the efficacy of an e-mail-based writing treatment and shows how such an implementation can aid in the search for moderators. Participants (N = 546) were randomly assigned to either a long- or short-interval traumatic writing condition or to a nonemotional writing control condition. In contrast to previous disclosure research, participants received and submitted their writing responses via e-mail. Health outcomes were assessed weekly for 5 weeks after treatment and were reported at the conclusion of the study. Results supported the effectiveness of an e-mail-based writing treatment in producing positive health outcomes and successfully identified several moderators of the writing treatment effect. The moderators implicated varied depending on the nature of the health outcome assessment.

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