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The mediating effect of positive emotions on the relationship between acts of kindness exercises and mental mental well-being : a randomized controlled trial

Robah, Karin (2019) The mediating effect of positive emotions on the relationship between acts of kindness exercises and mental mental well-being : a randomized controlled trial.

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Abstract:Research showed that positive psychological interventions like acts of kindness enhance mental well-being, due to increased positive emotions. However, no study has investigated the function of specific positive emotions on mental well-being, nor which specific positive emotions are enhanced by acts of kindness interventions. Therefore, the present study examined the role of 8 (interested, moved, cheerful, joyful, satisfied, surprised, loving, calm) specific positive emotions on the relationship between six-week acts of kindness interventions and mental well-being. The study sample was composed of 253 participants from the general Dutch population (mean age = 48; SD = 9.82), randomly assigned to the experimental condition (n = 169) or waitlist-condition (n = 84). Participants in the acts of kindness condition were instructed to perform five acts of kindness on one day during one week on another person, while participants in the waitlist-condition received the intervention exercise after the six weeks follow-up questionnaire. Levels of mental well-being and emotional states were assessed by self-reporting questionnaires at baseline, during the intervention and 6 weeks after baseline. MANOVAS revealed a significant effect of performing kindness acts on mental well-being in the acts of kindness condition, compared to the waitlist-condition. Further results of the MANOVAS revealed that the majority of positive emotions were not significantly enhanced at post-test in the intervention condition compared to the waitlist-condition. However, results revealed that pro-social behaviour significantly enhanced feeling interested at post-test in the acts of kindness condition compared to the waitlist-condition. Moreover, results revealed that the majority of positive emotions did significantly enhance mental well-being at post-test. Most important, results of the mediation analyses revealed that feeling cheerful was a significant mediator between pro-social behaviour and mental well-being. Therefore, the results of the current study fill in the gap in existing literature by revealing one specific significant mediator between acts of kindness and mental well-being. However, further exploration of positive emotions is still needed on other interventions that might promote mental well-being, since not all positive psychological interventions work the same.
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/79462
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