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An evaluation of college and low income youth writing together: self discovery and cultural connection
Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing (2002)
  • Genevieve Chandler, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Although the health and healing effects of writing have been documented in the literature, most of the studies have focused primarily on individuals writing alone. This formative evaluation is a component of an intervention reported elsewhere. The evaluation describes the experience of low-income youth and college students ( n = 7) writing in a group during a 10-week workshop. The results revealed the development of protective processes of self-esteem, self-efficacy, coping strategies, social support, and cultural connections. In the weekly 2-hr writing sessions, using the Amherst Writers and Artists method, participants were encouraged to write their stories in their own voices in response to prompts, followed by reading aloud and positive feedback. At the end of the 10 weeks participants were interviewed about their experience within the group and outside the group. Analysis of interviews revealed two themes that emerged from the experience of writing together: connection to self through feelings, reflection, and behaviors; and connection to others through learning and empathy. The results suggest that writing in a group using a specific approach facilitated emotional catharsis, increased self knowledge, coping strategies, and understanding and appreciating of others.
  • writing,
  • adolescents,
  • empowerment
Publication Date
October, 2002
Publisher Statement
DOI: 10.1080/01460860290042620
Citation Information
Genevieve Chandler. "An evaluation of college and low income youth writing together: self discovery and cultural connection" Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing Vol. 25 Iss. 4 (2002)
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