Description: Romantic relationships are important for social development and can impact an individual’s functioning both positively and negatively, especially when the relationship breaks up. Emotional and cognitive coping strategies including emotion approach coping, avoidance, and rumination and variable response to expressive writing intervention were examined in relation to post-dissolution distress. Undergraduate participants randomized into two groups completed measures of cognitive and emotional coping variables and global distress, with the experimental group completing a three-session expressive writing protocol. Writing samples were rated for processing mode, or the degree of vague general statements. Avoidance and rumination demonstrated significant cross-sectional associations with Time 1 distress controlling for demographics and characteristics of the former relationship. Gender moderated the relationship between rumination and distress. Using a matched sub-sample, the groups did not differ on emotional coping variables or distress. Results demonstrate the importance of examining emotional coping strategies in conjunction with relationship dissolution.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Wrape, Elizabeth R.