Innovative Models of Dissemination for School-Based Interventions that Promote Youth Resilience and Well-Being

Authored by: Amy Kranzler , Lauren J. Hoffman , Acacia C. Parks , Jane E. Gillham

Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415621854
eBook ISBN: 9780203106525
Adobe ISBN: 9781136258398


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Positive psychology and well-being interventions have flourished in the past decade (Parks & Biswas-Diener, 2013; Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005). Effective programs have been developed to build resilience and increase positive variables such as subjective well-being, positive emotion, individual strengths, positive relationships, and a sense of fulfillment and meaning among youth. Programs such as the Penn Resiliency Program (PRP; Gillham, Reivich & Jaycox, 2008) and the high school Positive Psychology Program (PPP; Gillham et al., 2013; Seligman, Ernst, Gillham, Reivich, & Linkins, 2009) have been found to improve factors related to students’ resilience and well-being when evaluated as school-based programs. Yet, despite this exciting progress, these programs are not reaching the vast number of youth who might benefit most from them. In this chapter, we discuss the prevalence of depression in school-aged youth and the importance of school-based resilience and well-being interventions. We then describe the PRP and PPP and review some of the challenges that prevent broad implementation of these programs despite apparent need for them. We conclude by describing two novel methods of program implementation that can be replicated at schools across the country. The first employs undergraduates in the context of university–community partnerships. The second integrates well-being program activities and concepts into academic courses. Both methods constitute innovative strategies to impact the large number of adolescents who might benefit from these programs.

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