Vanessa Juth

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2006

Capstone Advisor

Joshua M. Smyth, Ph.D.

Honors Reader

Craig K. Ewart, Ph.D.

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Cognitive Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Psychology


Expressive writing interventions pertain to emotional disclosure through structured writing. Despite the encouraging results of controlled expressive writing studies, efforts to expand it into applied settings have been less successful and results have been more inconsistent. One varying factor among pertinent studies is the investigators’ alteration of the location of writing (both within and between studies). The purpose of this study is to systematically review the methodology and parameters of expressive writing intervention studies. A computer literature search was conducted using the PsycINFO and MedLine databases to identify peer reviewed articles of randomized controlled trials of the expressive writing intervention studies. A total of 406 articles were found, of which 68 qualified for this study. Two blind raters independently evaluated and rated the methodology and parameters of randomized expressive studies using a standardized rating scale. Disagreements in ratings were resolved through consensus. A significant inconsistency in the qualities of reporting methodological features were revealed. Specifically, the selected literatures were characterized by an acute lack of reporting contextual factors relating to the location of writing. The variation in location of writing has implications for both the internal and external validity of these studies; therefore, derived inferences of the reviewed articles are limited in strength. Overall, trends indicate that articles are meeting the recommended minimum standards for reporting features pertaining to the location of writing, but at relatively low percentages.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.