General Expressive Writing Research:
For over 30 years, researchers have been studying the effects of expressive writing. In most studies, participants are asked to take 15 to 30 minutes to write about an emotionally challenging, even traumatic incident in their lives. Typically, they are asked to do this once a day for three to five days. Even though the time spent writing can be emotional and make the writer feel vulnerable, the long-term benefits are positive. Research has found that expressive writing can
- improve grade point average,
- improve working memory,
- improve writing skills,
- decrease school dropout rates,
- enhance immune function (fewer illnesses and fewer trips to the doctor),
- decrease blood pressure,
- promote wound healing after surgery,
- decrease anxiety and depression,
- help people feel better about life, and
- lessen post-traumatic intrusion and avoidance symptoms.
Study measurements were done months, even years, after the writing exercises and positive results still existed. Pretty good stuff!
Phase I: In the spring of 2018, we completed Phase I of our research. We hired a very reputable research company QREM to analyze the data collected from 40-50 students grades ranging from 3-12, both general public school classrooms and alternative high schools. Teachers administered a 10-15 point pre and post questionnaire after doing The Imagine Project writing process 1 time with their students. The results were even better than we hoped for!
- An 11.5% increase in the student’s ability to handle stress.
- A 6.3% increase in the importance of support from others.
- An 11.6% increase in their positive attitudes toward school (academic risk taking).
Click to read the report: Imagine Project Final Report March 18 2019
Phase II: In the spring of 2019 we conducted a qualitative study, again using pre and post questionnaires of elementary, middle, and high school students. We had a very positive response overall. Here is the conclusion and you can read the associated White Paper_Survey Summary for more information.
Phase III: We are currently conducting Phase III of our research. We’ve hired a professional company to help with our research. We have pre and post questionnaires for grades 3-12, a teacher questionnaire, and a parent questionnaire. We ask that all are done before doing the project and within 1 week after completing the project. Thank you!
Click here for the Elementary questionnaire (6th graders can do either).
Click here for the Teen questionnaire.
Click here for the Teacher questionnaire.
Click here for the Parent questionnaire.