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Expressive Writing and its Effects on Blood Pressure and Self-Reported Stress

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Title:Expressive Writing and its Effects on Blood Pressure and Self-Reported Stress
Authors:Ganir, Ronelyn
Contributors:Yancura, Loriena (advisor)
Department of Family Resources (department)
Keywords:expressive writing
blood pressure
college students
Date Issued:2014
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract:College students experience high levels of psychological stress, which may be
accompanied by physiological stress such as high blood pressure. Expressive Writing (EW), an
intervention developed by Pennebaker (1996), has been shown to alleviate stress and blood
pressure in white college students. The purpose of this study was to examine whether EW is
effective in an ethnically diverse student population. Thirty-four undergraduate students (35%
white, 44.1% Asian, 154.7% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 2% Hispanic/Latino) completed
pre-post measures of stress and blood pressure. Of these, 15 completed an online EW
intervention for 20 minutes, and 19 spent an equivalent amount of time surfing the internet and
then writing a short paragraph about websites they visited. Stress was measured by self-report
and blood pressure were measured with an automatic blood pressure monitor. No significant
differences on stress or blood pressure were found between EW group and control group.
However, both showed significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure (p < .02) after the
intervention. Pre-post differences in reactions to stress approached significance (p < .06). These
findings suggest that writing itself, not specifically EW, may be helpful in reducing college
student populations.
Pages/Duration:48 pages
Rights:All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Honors Projects for Family Resources

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