for people ages 18-39 (full criteria)
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Marcie D. Haydon, MA, CPhil (ucla)



Short, online interventions designed to enhance well-being may be particularly amenable for use with adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors (age 15-39 at diagnosis), an understudied group in the cancer community. The benefits of psychological well-being on both physical and mental health outcomes are well-known and, in recent years, researchers and policymakers have begun to view the period of adolescence and young adulthood as a window of opportunity to instantiate lasting habits and behaviors. Growing evidence suggests that prosocial behavior-a behavior that can be reliably manipulated through a short online intervention-may have beneficial effects on well-being and physical health. This has yet to be tested in AYA cancer survivors. Drawing from the literature on positive psychology and prosocial interventions, the proposed study will test the feasibility and efficacy of an 8-week online peer helping intervention designed to increase well-being among AYA cancer survivors. AYA cancer survivors (n = 176) will be recruited and randomized to one of three conditions: a peer helping condition, a cancer-specific writing plus peer helping condition, or a cancer-specific writing condition (control condition). The second group was added in response to a previous study, which found that writing about one's experience prior to helping other survivors may be more beneficial. Participants will complete a weekly writing activity once per week for 4 weeks, with instructions administered via a weekly email. Participants will also complete online assessments before, during, and after the 4-week intervention period.

Official Title

The Effects of Prosocial Writing on Psychological Well-being: An Online Randomized Controlled Trial Among Young Adult Cancer Survivors


Cancer Young Adults Writing for others Processing + writing for others Facts-only writing


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-39

  • diagnosis of cancer (any type) between the ages of 15 and 39 years
  • have completed primary treatment and are in remission (partial or complete)
  • between the ages of 18 and 39 years
  • fluent in English
  • have access to the internet and email.

You CAN'T join if...



  • University of California, Los Angeles accepting new patients
    Los Angeles California 90095 United States

Lead Scientist at UC Cancer


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, Los Angeles
Study Type
Last Updated