Immediate and Long-Term Effects of Expressive Writing on Mood and Anxiety Symptoms in Freshman College Students

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Venezia, Kelly Elizabeth
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Abstract This study attempts to enhance the current literature on expressive writing by assessing (1) changes in anxiety and depression using measures valid and reliable in this age group and (2) the trajectory of both immediate and long-term effects of expressive writing on anxiety and depression. It is hypothesized that compared to the control group, those in the expressive writing group will demonstrate a significant decrease in anxiety and depression post-treatment and also at a 1 month follow-up session. For all conditions, time was found to be significantly negatively associated with scores of anxiety and depression. An interaction between assignment and time during semester one 1 trended toward significance for anxiety, but data analyzed after semesters 1 and 2 combined did were not significant. This may be due to changes among freshman students as they develop through college; expressive writing interventions may be more effective on first semester freshman college students than second semester freshman college students.
expressive writing intervention, college freshman students, anxiety, depression