Dealing with a 'hidden stressor': Emotional disclosure as a coping strategy to overcome the negative effects of motive incongruence on health

  • Schüler J
  • Job V
  • Frölich S
 et al. 
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Taking the affiliation motive as an example, present research examines whether the negative effects of implicit-explicit motive incongruence on health is moderated by emotional disclosure. Starting from the point of view that motive incongruence works as a chronic stressor and therefore causes impairment of health, we predicted that participants who use the stress-reducing coping strategy of emotional disclosure should be less affected by the negative effects of motive incongruence on health than participants who do not use this stress-coping strategy. Two studies confirmed this hypothesis. Participants with affiliation motive incongruence who practiced emotional disclosure used less medication (Study 1, n = 85) and reported lower somatization symptoms (Study 2, n = 102) than motive incongruent individuals who did not disclose their emotions to others. Copyright (C) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Affiliation motive
  • Emotional disclosure
  • Health
  • Motive incongruence
  • Stress

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  • Veronika JobTechnische Universität Dresden

  • Julia Schüler

  • Stephanie M. Frölich

  • Veronika Brandstätter

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