The Benefits and Risks of Telling and Listening to Stories of Difficulty Over Time: Experimentally Testing the Expressive Writing Paradigm in the Context of Interpersonal Communication Between Friends

Jody Koenig Kellas, Haley Kranstuber Horstman, Erin K. Willer, Kristen Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The overarching goal of the current study was to determine the impact of talking interpersonally over time on emerging adults’ individual and relational health. Using an expressive writing study design (see Frattaroli, 2006), we assessed the degree to which psychological health improved over time for college students who told and listened to stories about friends’ current difficulties in comparison with tellers in control conditions. We also investigated the effects on tellers’ and listeners’ perceptions of each other’s communication competence, communicated perspective-taking, and the degree to which each threatened the other’s face during the interaction over time to better understand the interpersonal communication complexities associated with talking about difficulty over time. After completing prestudy questionnaires, 49 friend pairs engaged in three interpersonal interactions over the course of 1 week wherein one talked about and one listened to a story of difficulty (treatment) or daily events (control). All participants completed a poststudy questionnaire 3 weeks later. Tellers’ negative affect decreased over time for participants exposed to the treatment group, although life satisfaction increased and positive affect decreased across time for participants regardless of condition. Perceptions of friends’ communication abilities decreased significantly over time for tellers. The current study contributes to the literature on expressive writing and social support by shedding light on the interpersonal implications of talking about difficulty, the often-overlooked effects of disclosure on listeners, and the health effects of talking about problems on college students’ health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-858
Number of pages16
JournalHealth Communication
Volume30
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2015

Fingerprint

interpersonal communication
Communication
Health
paradigm
Testing
Students
health
listener
Aptitude
questionnaire
communication
Disclosure
interaction
time
Social Support
Mental Competency
social support
student
Psychology
event

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

Cite this

The Benefits and Risks of Telling and Listening to Stories of Difficulty Over Time : Experimentally Testing the Expressive Writing Paradigm in the Context of Interpersonal Communication Between Friends. / Koenig Kellas, Jody; Horstman, Haley Kranstuber; Willer, Erin K.; Carr, Kristen.

In: Health Communication, Vol. 30, No. 9, 02.09.2015, p. 843-858.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e5afa3d174b449f7b1e2792ce5a36254,
title = "The Benefits and Risks of Telling and Listening to Stories of Difficulty Over Time: Experimentally Testing the Expressive Writing Paradigm in the Context of Interpersonal Communication Between Friends",
abstract = "The overarching goal of the current study was to determine the impact of talking interpersonally over time on emerging adults’ individual and relational health. Using an expressive writing study design (see Frattaroli, 2006), we assessed the degree to which psychological health improved over time for college students who told and listened to stories about friends’ current difficulties in comparison with tellers in control conditions. We also investigated the effects on tellers’ and listeners’ perceptions of each other’s communication competence, communicated perspective-taking, and the degree to which each threatened the other’s face during the interaction over time to better understand the interpersonal communication complexities associated with talking about difficulty over time. After completing prestudy questionnaires, 49 friend pairs engaged in three interpersonal interactions over the course of 1 week wherein one talked about and one listened to a story of difficulty (treatment) or daily events (control). All participants completed a poststudy questionnaire 3 weeks later. Tellers’ negative affect decreased over time for participants exposed to the treatment group, although life satisfaction increased and positive affect decreased across time for participants regardless of condition. Perceptions of friends’ communication abilities decreased significantly over time for tellers. The current study contributes to the literature on expressive writing and social support by shedding light on the interpersonal implications of talking about difficulty, the often-overlooked effects of disclosure on listeners, and the health effects of talking about problems on college students’ health.",
author = "{Koenig Kellas}, Jody and Horstman, {Haley Kranstuber} and Willer, {Erin K.} and Kristen Carr",
year = "2015",
month = "9",
day = "2",
doi = "10.1080/10410236.2013.850017",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "30",
pages = "843--858",
journal = "Health Communication",
issn = "1041-0236",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Benefits and Risks of Telling and Listening to Stories of Difficulty Over Time

T2 - Experimentally Testing the Expressive Writing Paradigm in the Context of Interpersonal Communication Between Friends

AU - Koenig Kellas, Jody

AU - Horstman, Haley Kranstuber

AU - Willer, Erin K.

AU - Carr, Kristen

PY - 2015/9/2

Y1 - 2015/9/2

N2 - The overarching goal of the current study was to determine the impact of talking interpersonally over time on emerging adults’ individual and relational health. Using an expressive writing study design (see Frattaroli, 2006), we assessed the degree to which psychological health improved over time for college students who told and listened to stories about friends’ current difficulties in comparison with tellers in control conditions. We also investigated the effects on tellers’ and listeners’ perceptions of each other’s communication competence, communicated perspective-taking, and the degree to which each threatened the other’s face during the interaction over time to better understand the interpersonal communication complexities associated with talking about difficulty over time. After completing prestudy questionnaires, 49 friend pairs engaged in three interpersonal interactions over the course of 1 week wherein one talked about and one listened to a story of difficulty (treatment) or daily events (control). All participants completed a poststudy questionnaire 3 weeks later. Tellers’ negative affect decreased over time for participants exposed to the treatment group, although life satisfaction increased and positive affect decreased across time for participants regardless of condition. Perceptions of friends’ communication abilities decreased significantly over time for tellers. The current study contributes to the literature on expressive writing and social support by shedding light on the interpersonal implications of talking about difficulty, the often-overlooked effects of disclosure on listeners, and the health effects of talking about problems on college students’ health.

AB - The overarching goal of the current study was to determine the impact of talking interpersonally over time on emerging adults’ individual and relational health. Using an expressive writing study design (see Frattaroli, 2006), we assessed the degree to which psychological health improved over time for college students who told and listened to stories about friends’ current difficulties in comparison with tellers in control conditions. We also investigated the effects on tellers’ and listeners’ perceptions of each other’s communication competence, communicated perspective-taking, and the degree to which each threatened the other’s face during the interaction over time to better understand the interpersonal communication complexities associated with talking about difficulty over time. After completing prestudy questionnaires, 49 friend pairs engaged in three interpersonal interactions over the course of 1 week wherein one talked about and one listened to a story of difficulty (treatment) or daily events (control). All participants completed a poststudy questionnaire 3 weeks later. Tellers’ negative affect decreased over time for participants exposed to the treatment group, although life satisfaction increased and positive affect decreased across time for participants regardless of condition. Perceptions of friends’ communication abilities decreased significantly over time for tellers. The current study contributes to the literature on expressive writing and social support by shedding light on the interpersonal implications of talking about difficulty, the often-overlooked effects of disclosure on listeners, and the health effects of talking about problems on college students’ health.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84929049017&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84929049017&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/10410236.2013.850017

DO - 10.1080/10410236.2013.850017

M3 - Article

C2 - 24877791

AN - SCOPUS:84929049017

VL - 30

SP - 843

EP - 858

JO - Health Communication

JF - Health Communication

SN - 1041-0236

IS - 9

ER -