The Effectiveness of Emotional Disclosure (Written and Verbal) on Symptoms of Depression, Anxiety and Stress in Students



Introduction: The main aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of written and verbal emotional disclosure on depression, anxiety and stress symptoms in undergraduate students.
Method: Using screening sampling method, 40 students of Hamadan Azad University with high scores in Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale were selected, and randomly assigned into two experimental and two control groups. While experimental groups participated in psychotherapy interviews with written and verbal emotional disclosure method, no intervention were made for control groups. Consequently, post test and follow up after 3 mouths was administrated for DASS scores in all 4 groups and data were analyzed by Repeated Measures (GLM) statistical method.
Results: Significantly differences were revealed for depression, anxiety and stress symptoms between 4 groups. A Bonferroni Post Hoc Test was also showed a significant difference between pre-test and post-test scores in experimental groups, whereas no differences were evident between post-test and follow up. That is, the interventional effects have not a significant difference from post-test to fallow up. Further, written emotional disclosure reflected a greater effect on depression and stress symptoms than verbal emotional disclosure.
Conclusion: Written and verbal emotional disclosure reduces the symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress in people with these clinical symptoms. Therefore, it could be considered, by specialist, as a simple, effective and low cost strategy for encountering and coping with negative life events.