Aim: This mixed method research explored the benefits of a six-week diary writing intervention, and the coping strategies utilized in a sample of affected mothers who have teenagers or adult children with emotional and/or behavioral issues.
Methods: Participants were assigned to write either a best possible self or a gratitude journal, and asked to make entries at least three times per week for six weeks. A snowball sample of 34 mothers completed the six-week journal and post-test.
Results: The findings of paired t-tests indicated statistically significant increases in optimism and gratitude levels after completing the writing intervention. The mothers commonly used coping methods for parental distress were emotion-and meaning-focused coping. The three themes of journal writing experience were positive thinking, emotional well-being, and mental health self-care.
Conclusion: The current study suggests that implementing a positive writing intervention is a practical means of promoting psychological well-being as a self-care strategy for this population.
Keywords: Best possible self; Emotional well-being; Gratitude; Journaling; Mental health self-care.
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