What does positive psychology tell us about early intervention and prevention with children and adolescents? A review of positive psychological interventions with young people

Rhea L. Owens, Lea Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper reviews school-based (n = 212) and clinically-based (n = 68) positive psychological interventions (PPIs) for children and adolescents. A new 3 × 3 classification of PPIs was developed based on the processes and content of the PPI and the outcomes measured. This classification involves 9 different types of interventions depending on whether the intervention focuses on positive, remedial, or both positive and remedial processes and content, and whether the intervention aims to evade or address challenges, deficits, or disorders or improve or elicit positive outcomes. Positive content-balanced outcomes interventions were the most common type used in schools (38%) and clinical settings (63%). Mindfulness was the most common approach used (49% in schools and 71% in clinical settings). Surprisingly, relatively few studies focused on well-established positive psychological constructs, such as strengths, hope, and gratitude. Overall, the results suggest strong support for the use of PPIs in school and clinical contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Positive Psychology
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Positive psychological interventions
  • adolescents
  • children
  • prevention
  • schools
  • well-being

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