Article: Purves, D. G., & Erwin, P. G. (2004). Post-traumatic stress and self-disclosure. The journal of psychology, 138(1), 23-34.

Analytical Summary

The purpose of Purves and Erwin (2004) was to analyze the relationship between self-disclosure and stress experienced after traumatic events. In addition, this article also investigated the differences in impact of self-disclosure for traumatic males and females. Thus, the object of this study is to discuss post-traumatic stress (PTS) and self-disclosure. The problem with the previous research that motivated Purves and Erwin to carry out this research was that researchers studied either post-traumatic stress or self-disclosure separately. Secondly, they majorly focused writing method as the major self-disclosure activity in their research and finally, they did not take care of individual and gender differences in self-disclosure levels and its relationship post traumatic stress among. The significance of this research is that it focused individual differences and relationship of self-disclosure and posttraumatic stress, which will help psychology experts to treat patients in clinics in ways that are more The authors found that there are differences in males and females regarding their self-disclosure characteristics and that these characteristics are related to the trauma symptoms that they face. For example, males are not much willing to disclose their happy emotions and this increases the level of traumatic stress symptoms among them. On the other hand, women are more willing to self-disclose the issues anxiety and less willing to express their fears. Both of these factors in women predict high levels of post-traumatic stress among women.

The authors defined self-disclosure as talking about trauma and anxiety, disclosing their deep feelings of happiness or sadness, discussing their life events, and sharing their emotional experiences. The authors limited this concept of self-disclosure to individual differences, and how they affect males and females. The authors referred to Petrino and Martin (1986) who said that men are perceived to be less emotionally disclosing as compared to women. This information from Petrino and Martin (1986) supports the current research findings. The key term “reluctance to disclose emotions of happiness”, adds more information (explanation) to the key concept.

Agaibi and Wilson (2005) and this article by Purves and Erwin (2004) are different in the purpose. Agaibi and Wilson find the relationship of posttraumatic stress and resilience as how can one learn resilience by understanding trauma. On the other hand, Purves and Erwin analyzed the role of self-disclosure to help treat posttraumatic stress. The relationship between self-disclosure and level of posttraumatic symptoms is significant to plan and suggest resilience strategies for patients. Thus, this research complemented Agaibi and Wilson (2005) in the sense that it will guide the experts and practitioners to find the reason for posttraumatic symptoms in terms of self-disclosure and they will be able to think about those reasons while making resilience strategies for the patients. This is very helpful in understanding trauma, resilience, and posttraumatic symptoms. To explain this, suppose a person experienced trauma and has problems in recovery. This research will help the doctor to first focus on his disclosure habits. Once the doctor understands his disclosure habits, he can help the patient through different ways to disclose the emotions, and this will help the patient to reduce posttraumatic problems.


Agaibi, C. E., & Wilson, J. P. (2005). Trauma, PTSD, and Resilience A Review of the Literature. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 6(3), 195-216.