Global Coding of Trauma Essays Predicts Health

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Title: Global Coding of Trauma Essays Predicts Health
Author: Klest, Bridget K. (Bridget Kristen); Freyd, Jennifer J.
Abstract: Past research has demonstrated in a variety of contexts that writing about emotional topics can benefit physical health and general well being. Most of this prior research has used a computer program, but not global essay ratings, to assess what aspects of written essays might be associated with such benefits. Yet scoring rubrics are commonly used in the field of education to score global aspects of student writing. The current study used a sub-sample of essays from a larger research project on trauma, writing and health to develop a global rating rubric for essays about trauma based on rubrics used in education. The resulting rubric was reliably applied to participants' essays about trauma. Global ratings of the coherence or organization of participants' essays were correlated with improvements in physical and mental health measures at a six-month follow-up. Possible implications of these findings and future research directions are discussed.
Date: 2004-11

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