Type of Writing Task and College Students' Meaning Making Following a Romantic Breakup


concerning this article should be addressed to Heather L. Servaty-Seib, Department of Educational Studies, Purdue University, 100 North University Street, BRNG 5164, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (e-mail: servaty@purdue.edu).


In this study, the authors examined the potential effects of type of writing task (loss/gain vs. general prompt) on the narrative content offered by college students (N= 41) who experienced romantic breakup. Qualitative analyses indicated differences based on type of writing task. Students who received the loss/gain prompt exhibited more cognitive, balanced, and complex responses, whereas those who received the general prompt offered more emotional and factual accounts of their experience.