Disclosure of traumas and health among holocaust survivors

J. W. Pennebaker, Steven D Barger, J. Tiebout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

141 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

On the basis of a theory of inhibition and psychosomatics, it was predicted that the more individuals disclosed personally traumatic experiences, the better their long-term health following the disclosure. Thirty-three Holocaust survivors talked for 1-2 hours about their personal experiences during World War II while skin conductance level (SCL) and heart rate (HR) were continuously monitored. Each videotaped interview was rated by independent judges once every minute on the degree to which the survivor's experience was traumatic. For each subject, the trauma ratings were correlated with minute-by-minute SCL and HR readings. Based on previous research, negative trauma-SCL correlations are indicative of high personal disclosure, whereas positive trauma-SCL correlations suggest low disclosure. Approximately 14 months after the interview, self-reports of the subjects' health were collected. Controlling for pre-interview health problems, degree of disclosure during the interview was found to be positively correlated with long-term health after the interview. The possible health benefits of disclosure are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-589
Number of pages13
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Volume51
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Holocaust
Disclosure
Survivors
Interviews
Health
Wounds and Injuries
Skin
Heart Rate
World War II
Insurance Benefits
Self Report
Reading
Research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Disclosure of traumas and health among holocaust survivors. / Pennebaker, J. W.; Barger, Steven D; Tiebout, J.

In: Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol. 51, No. 5, 1989, p. 577-589.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Pennebaker, JW, Barger, SD & Tiebout, J 1989, 'Disclosure of traumas and health among holocaust survivors', Psychosomatic Medicine, vol. 51, no. 5, pp. 577-589.
Pennebaker, J. W. ; Barger, Steven D ; Tiebout, J. / Disclosure of traumas and health among holocaust survivors. In: Psychosomatic Medicine. 1989 ; Vol. 51, No. 5. pp. 577-589.
@article{1c4d49f7f3df4c7d9d1a82ea27e71e4a,
title = "Disclosure of traumas and health among holocaust survivors",
abstract = "On the basis of a theory of inhibition and psychosomatics, it was predicted that the more individuals disclosed personally traumatic experiences, the better their long-term health following the disclosure. Thirty-three Holocaust survivors talked for 1-2 hours about their personal experiences during World War II while skin conductance level (SCL) and heart rate (HR) were continuously monitored. Each videotaped interview was rated by independent judges once every minute on the degree to which the survivor's experience was traumatic. For each subject, the trauma ratings were correlated with minute-by-minute SCL and HR readings. Based on previous research, negative trauma-SCL correlations are indicative of high personal disclosure, whereas positive trauma-SCL correlations suggest low disclosure. Approximately 14 months after the interview, self-reports of the subjects' health were collected. Controlling for pre-interview health problems, degree of disclosure during the interview was found to be positively correlated with long-term health after the interview. The possible health benefits of disclosure are discussed.",
author = "Pennebaker, {J. W.} and Barger, {Steven D} and J. Tiebout",
year = "1989",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "51",
pages = "577--589",
journal = "Psychosomatic Medicine",
issn = "0033-3174",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams and Wilkins",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Disclosure of traumas and health among holocaust survivors

AU - Pennebaker, J. W.

AU - Barger, Steven D

AU - Tiebout, J.

PY - 1989

Y1 - 1989

N2 - On the basis of a theory of inhibition and psychosomatics, it was predicted that the more individuals disclosed personally traumatic experiences, the better their long-term health following the disclosure. Thirty-three Holocaust survivors talked for 1-2 hours about their personal experiences during World War II while skin conductance level (SCL) and heart rate (HR) were continuously monitored. Each videotaped interview was rated by independent judges once every minute on the degree to which the survivor's experience was traumatic. For each subject, the trauma ratings were correlated with minute-by-minute SCL and HR readings. Based on previous research, negative trauma-SCL correlations are indicative of high personal disclosure, whereas positive trauma-SCL correlations suggest low disclosure. Approximately 14 months after the interview, self-reports of the subjects' health were collected. Controlling for pre-interview health problems, degree of disclosure during the interview was found to be positively correlated with long-term health after the interview. The possible health benefits of disclosure are discussed.

AB - On the basis of a theory of inhibition and psychosomatics, it was predicted that the more individuals disclosed personally traumatic experiences, the better their long-term health following the disclosure. Thirty-three Holocaust survivors talked for 1-2 hours about their personal experiences during World War II while skin conductance level (SCL) and heart rate (HR) were continuously monitored. Each videotaped interview was rated by independent judges once every minute on the degree to which the survivor's experience was traumatic. For each subject, the trauma ratings were correlated with minute-by-minute SCL and HR readings. Based on previous research, negative trauma-SCL correlations are indicative of high personal disclosure, whereas positive trauma-SCL correlations suggest low disclosure. Approximately 14 months after the interview, self-reports of the subjects' health were collected. Controlling for pre-interview health problems, degree of disclosure during the interview was found to be positively correlated with long-term health after the interview. The possible health benefits of disclosure are discussed.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0024427358&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0024427358&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 51

SP - 577

EP - 589

JO - Psychosomatic Medicine

JF - Psychosomatic Medicine

SN - 0033-3174

IS - 5

ER -