Resource diary: A positive writing intervention for promoting well-being and preventing depression in adolescence

Resource diary: A positive writing intervention for promoting well-being and preventing depression in adolescence

The Journal of Positive Psychology

Dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice

Volume 11, 2016 – Issue 1

Pages 99-108

https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2015.1025423

 

Depression in adolescence is a widespread problem and leads to extensive psychosocial impairments. For these reason, a resource diary has been developed as a four-week positive writing intervention. The aims of this intervention were to enhance well-being, to promote emotion regulation and resource realization, as well as to prevent symptoms of depression in adolescence. Seventy-seven students of 8th form were randomized either to a positive writing group (n = 38) or to a neutral writing group (n = 39). At the post-test, the positive writing group showed a lower dysphoric mood, fewer worries and less rumination in comparison with the neutral writing group. No effects on resource realization were detected. This study provides the first evidence of the beneficial effects of positive writing on indicators of well-being and depressive symptoms. In conclusion, the resource diary represents an economical intervention for preventing depression in adolescence.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17439760.2015.1025423?src=recsys

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Examining explanatory mechanisms of positive and expressive writing: Towards a resource-oriented perspective

The Journal of Positive Psychology

Dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice

Volume 11, 2016 – Issue 2

Pages 124-134

https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2015.1037856

 

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This study tested the hypothesis that benefits of positive and expressive writing accrue when the intervention matches or activates the participant’s personal resources. Students were randomly assigned to keep a newly developed resource diary (RD, n = 114), which asked the participants to write about positive experiences and personal resources, or an expressive writing diary (ED, n = 114), which asked the participants to engage with negative emotional experiences, at home on three consecutive days per week for four weeks. Participants keeping the RD perceived significantly more social support and reported a significantly better mood at post-test than participants keeping the ED. Compared to a control group (n = 81) treatment effects of both writing interventions were higher for participants with lower pre-test values of well-being and brooding as well as for participants who wrote in an ‘atmosphere of activated resources.’ It is suggested that research should move away from testing deficit-compensating hypotheses towards a stronger resource orientation.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17439760.2015.1037856?src=recsys