Kim Allen
Journaling Home
To know
more about
Journaling ....   
& Benefits
of Journaling
Potential Benefits
for Adolescent
Mothers &
Impact on Parenting
Materials Used
In the AMJP


Center on
Pregnancy and

Maltreatment and
Pregnancy and
Parenting Program


Missouri Volunteer
Resource Mothers



Adolescent Mother
Journaling Program

What is Journaling?

Journaling is a highly personal form of written self-expression. Tristine Rainer, author of  The New Diary  (1978) states that journaling involves the process of writing one’s thoughts and feelings to create an “ active, purposeful, communication with the self”. 

Writing in a journal enables people
  • to learn more about themselves and
  • better understand who they are and why they do the things they do.

This self-understanding develops as they reflect upon their life experiences and the feelings that accompany them. A journal provides

  • a safe place for people to record their deepest feelings

  • express themselves creatively without having to face the comments and criticism of others.

Benefits of Journaling

 The list of benefits that can be gained from journaling is long. People think Journaling

  •  as a way to unlock their inner creativity and promote self-healing.

  •  means to gaining confidence and taking control (Youga, 1995).

Research has shown journaling to be a beneficial tool

  • for individuals suffering from panic attacks (Beitman, Basha, & Trombka, 1987).

  • victims of sexual abuse (deLuca, Boyes, Furer, Grayston, & Hiebert-Murphy, 1992).

  • individuals with eating disorders (Zimmerman & Shepard, 1993).

  • for individuals suffering from insomnia (Kupych-Woloshyn, Blanchard, Schwarz, & Silverman, 1992).

  • for individuals suffering with illness such as asthma or rheumatoid arthritis (Smyth, Stone, Hurewitz, & Kaell, 1999).

 Some of the most often cited benefits of journaling are:

  • A healthful release for feelings and tensions
  • A way to gain perspective on emotions and resolve the past
  • An outlet for increasing creativity, and
  • A path to self-awareness and self-knowledge

According to Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls (1994):

Girls this age love to write. Their journals are places where they can be honest and whole. In their writing, they can clarify, conceptualize and evaluate their experiences. Writing their thoughts and feelings strengthens their sense of self. Their journals are a place where their point of view on the universe matters.



For additional information, contact:

Kim Allen
Center on Adolescent Sexuality, Pregnancy and Parenting
State Specialist, University of MO Extension
1205 University Pl., Suite 1100
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: 573-884-0644
Fax: 573.884.4878


University Outreach & Extension-University of Missouri

HES Extension Site Manager

Copyright © 2003 Curators of the University of Missouri

University of Missouri Extension does not discriminate on the
basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age,
disability or status as a Vietnam-era veteran in employment or programs.

Copyright  ADA Equal Opportunity

 External sites are not endorsed by the University of Missouri.

last updated 11/10/08