Effects of disclosure of traumatic events on illness behavior among psychiatric prison inmates

Jane M. Richards, Wanda E. Beal, Janel D. Sexton, James W. Pennebaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To assess the health effects of writing about traumatic events in a clinical population, 98 psychiatric prison inmates were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions in which they were asked to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings surrounding upsetting experiences (trauma writing condition), write about trivial topics (trivial writing control), or go about their daily routine without writing (no-writing control). Both writing groups wrote for 20 min per day for 3 consecutive days. Participants in the trauma condition reported experiencing more physical symptoms subsequent to the intervention relative to those in the other conditions. Despite this, controlling for prewriting infirmary visits, sex offenders in the trauma writing condition decreased their postwriting infirmary visits. These results are congruent with predictions based on stigmatization and inhibition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-160
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Volume109
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes

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Illness Behavior
Prisons
Disclosure
Psychiatry
Wounds and Injuries
Stereotyping
Emotions
Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Effects of disclosure of traumatic events on illness behavior among psychiatric prison inmates. / Richards, Jane M.; Beal, Wanda E.; Sexton, Janel D.; Pennebaker, James W.

In: Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. 109, No. 1, 02.2000, p. 156-160.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Richards, Jane M. ; Beal, Wanda E. ; Sexton, Janel D. ; Pennebaker, James W. / Effects of disclosure of traumatic events on illness behavior among psychiatric prison inmates. In: Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 2000 ; Vol. 109, No. 1. pp. 156-160.
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