Piloting PlayWrite: Feasibility and Efficacy of a Playwriting Intervention for At-Risk Adolescents

Rosemary E. Bernstein, Jennifer C. Ablow, Kelly C. Maloney, Joel T. Nigg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


At-risk, disadvantaged, and marginalized youth are seldom afforded avenues for healthy self-expression—which, in turn, may further increase risk. Interventions using the arts are often proposed but are seldom formally evaluated. In the present pilot study, we evaluated a brief intensive intervention in which at-risk adolescents partner with professional coaches to write their own play, which is then performed before a live audience. Positive intervention effects were found in decreased hyperactivity/inattention, decreased anhedonia, and improved anger inhibition/suppression. These promising preliminary findings indicate that further study of this type of intervention is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-467
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Creativity in Mental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2014



  • adolescents
  • creativity in counseling
  • expressive arts
  • intervention
  • playwriting
  • school intervention
  • theatre arts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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