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Testing the benefits of expressive writing for workplace embitterment: a randomized control trial

Michailidis, Evie and Cropley, Mark (2019) Testing the benefits of expressive writing for workplace embitterment: a randomized control trial European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 28 (3). pp 315-328.

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Clinicians working in occupational health services often recognise features of embitterment in organisations, however, research on interventions for embitterment are scarce. The present study aimed to assess the effectiveness of an expressive writing intervention on working adults who experience workplace embitterment. Employing a randomised control trial we sought to test an expressive writing intervention for its effects on reducing embitterment, work-related rumination and sleep quality and assess whether the effect of the intervention was maintained over time by following up participants after one and three months. Findings partially supported our hypothesis as results showed that participants who completed the expressive writing intervention (N = 23) did not show significantly lower levels of embitterment, affective rumination, higher levels of detachment, either improved sleep quality, compared to participants who completed the factual writing (N = 21), when baseline values were controlled for. However, when looking at the mean scores embitterment and affective rumination levels diminished, detachment levels increased and sleep quality improved throughout the course of the intervention for both groups. Given the stability of embitterment and as findings from this study indicate embitterment diminished after a writing exercise irrespective of emotional disclosure taking place or not, further research and investigation is warranted.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Date : 18 February 2019
DOI : 10.1080/1359432X.2019.1580694
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright © 2019 Informa UK Limited This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology on 18 February 2019 available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords : embitterment, work-related rumination, sleep, expressive writing, randomised controlled trials
Depositing User : Users 6648 not found.
Date Deposited : 20 Feb 2019 12:42
Last Modified : 19 Feb 2020 02:08

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