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Positive psychology within the educational context : The impact of a school-based positive psychology intervention on the well-being of primary and secondary school students in the Netherlands

Muijsson, D.C. (2018) Positive psychology within the educational context : The impact of a school-based positive psychology intervention on the well-being of primary and secondary school students in the Netherlands.

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Abstract:Aim: An increased focus on the mental health and well-being of young people has led to the integration of positive psychology into the educational context. Growing evidence concerning the use of school-based positive psychology interventions (SB-PPIs) shows that these interventions can positively effect the mental health and well-being of students. This study aims to explore the impact of an SB-PPI on students’ well-being. Method: A mixed-methods research design was adopted, using a within-subject design. Students participated in the SB-PPI, with 271 students responding to the quantitative measurement (Kidsscreen-27 [KS-27]) and 255 students responding to the qualitative measurement (best possible selves [BPS]). The Wilcoxon signed rank test was used to analyse the impact of the SB-PPI on students’ well-being, and the Mann-Whitney test was used to analyse the difference in gender and type of school. The BPS of the students were classified in PERMA-themes (i.e., Positive Emotion, Engagement, Positive Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment), non-PERMA-themes (i.e., negative emotion, assets, factual descriptions) and the themes general and behavioural descriptions of the BPS. Results: This study finds the SB-PPI has a significant positive impact on autonomy and relationships with parents, especially for boys. Furthermore, it records a significant decrease in negative emotion, assets and factual descriptions. The students also showed an increase in behavioural intention; they showed a stronger intention to conduct behaviours that lead to greater well-being. Conclusion: The overall findings suggest that students’ mental health and well-being can be enhanced by using positive psychology in the educational context; this study shows that SB-PPIs may have a positive impact on students’ well-being. The SB-PPI that was employed in this research seems to have a direct positive impact on several aspects of students’ well-being, and the intervention may, in the long term, lead to even greater positive outcomes for students’ mental health. Further research is required to establish the effectiveness of SB-PPIs in the educational context.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/75658
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