Narrative Writing Exercises for Promoting Health Among Adolescents: Promises and Pitfalls

Taylor, E.,
Jouriles, E. N.,
Brown, R.,
Goforth, K.
Year Published: 2016
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Psychology of Violence
Volume: 6

Issue: 1
American Psychological Association (APA)

Evaluations of narrative writing exercises have yielded many positive findings, showing that narratives can potentially help those at risk for violence or troubling behaviors. Narrative writing exercises have consistently demonstrated positive results at the universal prevention, targeted prevention, and intervention levels, but many important questions remain. In this commentary, the authors summarize potential benefits and pitfalls in the use of narrative writing exercises with adolescents. They also present tips for implementing narratives as a health promotion and prevention strategy in schools and other types of therapeutic settings. Researchers have theorized that narratives are effective because they help individuals process thoughts and emotions surrounding adverse events, and they can promote positive thoughts about the self and broader ways of thinking. However, more research on narratives in the context of the violence field is needed. Modified Author Abstract.

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