Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Joshua M. Smyth, Ph.D.
Craig K. Ewart, Ph.D.
Arts and Science
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
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.
Juth, Vanessa, "A Systematic Review of the Methodology of Expressive Writing Intervention Studies: Examining Location" (2006). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 649.
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