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Bonding from Afar: The Effects of a Writing Micro-intervention on Perceived Child-Parent Connectedness and Personal Well-being

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Previous studies about well-being have examined either gratitude’s or social connectedness’ relationship to subjective well-being. The aim of this randomized control trial was to examine the efficacy of a gratitude-based

Previous studies about well-being have examined either gratitude’s or social connectedness’ relationship to subjective well-being. The aim of this randomized control trial was to examine the efficacy of a gratitude-based writing micro-intervention in enhancing felt social connectedness and well-being between young adults and their parents. The trial tested the impact of engaging in gratitude-based writing about family members or enhanced caretakers on measures of social connectedness and well-being between grown children and their parents. Data from a pool of social work students in the Southwest (N=148) were used. Results revealed within-subject effects and between subject effects for psychological well-being from pretest to one month follow-up, with the intervention group reporting significantly higher psychological well-being than the control group. Results also revealed slight mean differences from pretest to posttest for perceptions of family relationships, with the intervention group reporting approaching significant better perceptions of family relationships than the control group at posttest. Findings from the study indicate that engaging in gratitude-based writing about family can improve perceptions of psychological well-being and may improve social connectedness to family.

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  • 2018