Writing is believing: does positive writing make you more positive about yourself?
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Background: Present study examined whether a social belonging writing assignment intervention, based on previous research of Walton & Cohen (2011,) was effective in reducing depressive symptoms in adolescents after 5 weeks and 6 months compared to adolescents without the intervention and if a repetition of the intervention had an additional effect. Furthermore possible explanatory factors, increasing self-esteem and shifting the view on personality from a more entity to a more incremental view, were examined. Methods: In this study 183 high school students, with an average age of 13.8, participated. The participants were divided over 3 groups: an intervention group with a writing assignment, a control group with a writing assignment and a control group without a writing assignment. Results: No effect of the intervention on decreasing depressive symptoms of adolescents was found and there was no (additional) effect of repeating the intervention. Furthermore, no effects of the writing assignments on self-esteem and incremental-entity view w found. Discussion: Because in previous research the writing assignment did result in decreasing depressive symptoms in slightly older and somewhat more problematic adolescents, further research is necessary. Further research is recommended in older, more problematic youth, and perhaps a more intense intervention that offers a combination of teaching programs and writing assignments can be examined.