Personal Growth Initiative as a Moderator of Expressive Writing Tasks: Test of a Matching Hypothesis
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This study advances knowledge regarding a new potential client variable moderator to therapeutic writing. Therapeutic writing, also referred to in the literature as expressive or experimental writing, utilizes the expressive nature of writing as a therapeutic means to recovery and growth. The current study tested the moderating effects of a client variable, personal growth initiative (PGI; Robitschek, 1998), on cognitive and affective therapeutic outcomes including depression, the impact of the event, subjective well-being, positive affectivity, and the subjective evaluation of the task. More specifically, this study explored whether participants differ in the extent to which they profit from two different versions of expressive writing depending on whether they are high or low on the personality dimension of personal growth initiative (PGI). Findings revealed that, overall, those lower in PGI found greater benefit from the traditional writing task than the BPS task. In contrast, those higher in PGI found greater benefit from the BPS task than the traditional writing task.