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Spiritually Oriented Expressive Writing and Promoting Positive Outcomes After a Natural Disaster.

Natural disasters can disrupt and challenge survivors' core belief systems, leading to negative health consequences. People often rely on religion/spirituality to help them cope and make meaning, but to date very few studies have specifically focused on exploring spiritually oriented expressive writing interventions with natural disaster survivors. Therefore, the current longitudinal, mixed-methods study utilized an experimental design with random assignment of 132 survivors of the 2016 Louisiana flooding. Quantitative measures were completed before and after the writing intervention, then at 1-month and 6-month follow-up time points. Results indicated that the spiritually oriented intervention was effective in promoting meaning in life but not life satisfaction. Survivors with lower preintervention positive attitudes toward God evidenced the strongest growth over time regarding meaning in life. Qualitative analyses, using a directed content analysis approach, revealed six themes in the experimental group's written responses that expanded previous research. Finally, we discuss implications for counseling and future research. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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