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Narrating psychological distress: Associations between cross-clausal integration and mental health difficulties

  • Psychological research has emphasized the importance of narrative for a person’s sense of self. Building a coherent narrative of past events is one objective of psychotherapy. However, in guided self-help therapy the patient has to develop this narrative autonomously. Identifying patients’ narrative skills in relation to psychological distress could provide useful information about their suitability for self-help. The aim of this study was to explore whether the syntactic integration of clauses into narrative in texts written by prospective psychotherapy patients was related to mild to moderate psychological distress. Cross-clausal syntax of texts by 97 people who had contacted a primary care mental health service was analyzed. Severity of symptoms associated with mental health difficulties was assessed by a standardized scale (Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation outcome measure). Cross-clausal syntactic integration was negatively correlated with the severity of symptoms. A multiple regression analysis confirmed that the use of simple sentences, finite complement clauses, and coordinated clauses was associated with symptoms (R2 = .26). The results suggest that the analysis of cross-clausal syntax can provide information on patients’ narrative skills in relation to distressing events and can therefore provide additional information to support treatment decisions.

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Metadaten
Author:Jörg ZinkenGND, Caroline Blakemore, Katarzyna Zinken, Lisa Butler, T. Chas Skinner
URN:urn:nbn:de:bsz:mh39-33287
DOI:https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0142716410000408
ISSN:1469-1817
Parent Title (English):Applied Psycholinguistics
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2011
Date of Publication (online):2014/12/15
GND Keyword:Englisch; Erzählen; Psychoanalyse; Psychotherapie; Selbstdarstellung
Volume:32
Issue:2
First Page:263
Last Page:274
Note:
Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
Dewey Decimal Classification:400 Sprache / 410 Linguistik / 410 Linguistik
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Linguistics-Classification:Psycholinguistik / Kognitive Linguistik
Open Access?:Ja
Licence (German):Es gilt das UrhG