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A qualitative comparison of two interventions from the participants’ point of view : the stories we live by vs. expressive writing intervention

Müller, A. (2012) A qualitative comparison of two interventions from the participants’ point of view : the stories we live by vs. expressive writing intervention.

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Abstract:The interest in narrative psychology has risen in the last few decades. It was found that characteristics of narratives have a positive relation to well-being and can help to improve it. Based on this relation, different interventions were developed to improve well-being. Today is only partly known which specific elements in such interventions lead to high well-being. It is assumed that a combination of elements is responsible for the positive effect on well-being. Until now, established theories failed to explain the whole working mechanism. Maybe due to the fact that they primarily tried to answer the question from a theoretical point of view. Therefore, the current study is concerned with the participants’ view on two interventions: “Expressive Writing” and “The Stories we Live by”. The study focuses on how participants experienced the interventions and what are differences in the experience between the interventions. Participants (N=89) were randomly assigned to one of the interventions and were afterwards asked which elements they experienced as helpful and important. The so gained data was analyzed by the grounded theory approach. The developed theoretical model states reciprocal relationships between the most elements, implying that the whole interventions were experienced as important and helpful from most participants. Furthermore, it was found that participants mentioned the elements self-knowledge, reminiscence, writing, coping strategies and specific elements such as particular tasks most often. Only few differences between the interventions could be shown, implying that the experiences in the interventions were almost similar. Obvious was that in the “Expressive Writing” intervention the element writing was mentioned most often. Contrary, in “The Stories we Live by” self-knowledge was mentioned the most and reminiscence was mentioned more often than writing. This shows that the main differences between the interventions could be found in the methodology, namely between the elements writing and reminiscence. Further research is needed to test the developed theoretical model and specify the relationships between the elements. For future interventions can be suggested not to use individual elements, instead using the interventions as a whole and integrate at least the elements participants mentioned most often as valuable.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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