How and When Does Emotional Expression Help?

  title={How and When Does Emotional Expression Help?},
  author={Eileen Kennedy-Moore and Jeanne Cherry Watson},
  journal={Review of General Psychology},
  pages={187 - 212}
The paradox of distress expression is that expression of negative feelings is both a sign of distress and a possible means of coping with that distress. This article describes research illustrating the paradox of distress expression. It reviews evidence concerning 3 possible mechanisms by which expression might alleviate distress, focusing on the role of expression in (a) reducing distress about distress, (b) facilitating insight, and (c) affecting interpersonal relationships in a desired way… 
How Does Social Anger Expression Predict Later Depression Symptoms? It Depends on How Often One Is Angry
It is found that a strong reliance on social expression prospectively predicted lower depression symptoms when participants endorsed anger infrequently but predicted an increase in subsequent depression Symptoms when anger was endorsed frequently.
Individual Differences in Emotion Expression: Hierarchical Structure and Relations with Psychological Distress
Several constructs reflecting individual differences in emotion expression have been described in the literature, yet their structural organization is unknown. The present study provided a taxonomy
Keep it in or Let it out
Previous research suggests that avoiding the expression of emotion may be associated with impaired mental health, although empirical evidence is inconsistent. In this investigation, ambivalence over
Coping through Emotional Approach: The Utility of Processing and Expressing Emotions in Response to Stress
Emotional approach coping (EAC) is a construct encompassing the intentional use of emotional processing and expression to manage adverse circumstances. Emotional processing is defined by attempts to
Managing Perceptions of Distress at Work: Reframing Emotion as Passion
People often feel distressed at work, but expressing distress can have substantial negative consequences for employees: observers perceive employees who express distress as less competent and in
Expression of Emotion: When It Causes Trauma and When It Helps
  • J. Littrell
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Journal of evidence-based social work
  • 2009
This article asks whether the empirical literature supports the underlying assumption that emotional expression leads to positive outcomes (better health and dissipation of distress), and suggests that if trauma is to be revisited, it should be accompanied by reappraisal.
Power, Distress, and Compassion
As predicted, participants with a higher sense of power experienced less distress and less compassion and exhibited greater autonomic emotion regulation when confronted with another participant's suffering.
The Role of Distress Disclosure Tendencies in the Experience and Expression of Laboratory-Induced Sadness
The benefits of talking with others about unpleasant emotions have been thoroughly investigated, but individual differences in distress disclosure tendencies have not been adequately integrated
Can I tell you how I feel? Perceived partner responsiveness encourages emotional expression.
Two methodologically distinct studies examine the impact of perceived partner responsiveness (PPR) on emotional expression and identify PPR as an important interpersonal mechanism underlying emotional expression.
Managing perceptions of distress at work: Reframing emotion as passion
Expressing distress at work can have negative consequences for employees: observers perceive employees who express distress as less competent than employees who do not. Across five experiments, we


How the comforting process works: Alleviating emotional distress through conversationally induced reappraisals
Publisher Summary For everyday hurts and hassles, the informal communicative assistance one receives from the network of personal relationships can be effective at helping one overcome various forms
Anger In Or Out, Which Is Healthier? An Attempt To Reconcile Inconsistent Findings
Abstract A survey of the literature concerning the relationship between style of anger expression and health disorders does not lead to a clear-cut conclusion. Some studies suggest that the outward
"I have to talk to somebody": A fever model of disclosure.
In this chapter, I consider some consequences of the propositions (a) that people tend to disclose when they are distressed and (b) that they obtain some benefit from doing so. To put it more
Social reactions to the expression of emotion
Abstract Weeping has traditionally been seen as a sign of weakness, and laughter as a sign of health. In the current study, attitudes and reactions toward emotional expressions were evaluated in a
What Good Are Positive Emotions?
  • B. Fredrickson
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Review of general psychology : journal of Division 1, of the American Psychological Association
  • 1998
A new model is advanced to describe the form and function of a subset of positive emotions, including joy, interest, contentment, and love, that serve to broaden an individual's momentary thought–action repertoire, which in turn has the effect of building that individual's physical, intellectual, and social resources.
Emotional Expression in Written Essays and Psychotherapy
In an effort to understand emotional change, brief psychotherapy was compared with written expression about stressful life events as well as with a control condition of writing about trivial events
Types of emotional disclosures and request compliance between spouses
The present study investigated variations in emotional disclosures when making requests of one's spouse. Unpleasant emotions are often thought of as “taboos,”; but this study demonstrated that, from
Forming a story: the health benefits of narrative.
Using a text-analysis computer program, it was discovered that those who benefit maximally from writing tend to use a high number of positive-emotion words, a moderate amount of negative-emotional words, and increase their use of cognitive words over the days of writing.
Stress and the cognitive-conversational benefits of social interaction.
The present paper outlines specific coping benefits derived from conversational interactions. Apart from the input of a supportive listener, these benefits occur as a function of the distressed
Putting stress into words: health, linguistic, and therapeutic implications.
  • J. Pennebaker
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Behaviour research and therapy
  • 1993
Independent of verbal emotion expression, the increasing use of insight, causal, and associated cognitive words over several days of writing is linked to health improvement and the construction of a coherent story together with the expression of negative emotions work together in therapeutic writing.