A Qualitative Study on the Emotional Healing Efficacy of Movies for Undergraduates Suffering Breakups

Chen Su-May Sheih, Wei-Ni Yeh
Journal of Library and Information Studies   unpublished
Breakups with significant others are among the main reasons for emotional disturbance problems in Taiwanese undergraduates. Most undergraduates lack emotional regulation; therefore, their negative emotions can easily accumulate, influencing their mental health. Exacerbating these effects, the accumulation of negative emotions can lead to social problems. Therefore, helping undergraduates appropriately cope with negative emotions generated by breakups is a topic worth exploring. Extended
more » ... Movie therapy involves watching appropriate movies for soothing negative emotions. To investigate the emotional healing efficacy of movies, this study employed content analysis to select movies about breakups and recruited 14 undergraduates suffering from breakups. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted after the subjects viewed one of the movies, and the emotional healing efficacy of movies was analyzed based on whether the subjects experienced the processes of identification, catharsis, and insight. The findings indicated that 14 movies had emotional healing efficacy. The subjects experienced emotional healing from movies that contained three critical elements: similarity of backgrounds between the viewer and the movie characters, the extroversive expression of the movie characters' emotions, and the characters' demonstration of concrete solutions to the problems.