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The benefits of passion and absorption in activities: Engaged living in adolescents and its role in psychological well-being

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Abstract

Across five studies and three samples of early and late adolescents from suburban areas (N = 2198), this research provides a theoretical and empirical examination of a new construct, engaged living, which consists of social integration and absorption. Engaged living, as we define it, is having a passion to help others and be completely immersed in activities. The development and psychometric properties of The Engaged Living in Youth Scale (ELYS) are described. Cross-sectional and longitudinal data, including self and other reports, then show that the ELYS is related to a variety of attributes, well-being, and academic achievement outcomes. Overall, the pattern of associations indicates that youth high in engaged living tend to be more grateful, hopeful, happier (via self, peer, and teacher reports), prosocial, and report elevated life satisfaction, positive affect, and self-esteem and higher grade point averages. Higher scorers also tend to be less depressed, envious, antisocial, and delinquent.

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... Engaged living, proposed by Froh et al. (2010) is defined as being passionate about helping others and being connected with others (social integration), and being completely immersed in activities (absorption). Masten (2001) suggested that living an engaged life would be beneficial in helping youths avoid poor choices that result in delinquent behaviors and thus increase their resilience to addictive behavior. ...
... Absorption, as a positive predictor of emotional and psychological well-being (Philippe et al., 2009;Froh et al., 2010;Rivkin et al., 2018), would be a protective factor against PIU. People tend to experience flow and positive emotions when highly absorbed in activities with higher general positive affect and lower negative affect (Hernández et al., 2019), and fewer relational conflicts (Séguin-Lévesque et al., 2003). ...
... Engaged living, considered as a predictor of PIU, was assessed using the Engaged Living in Youth Scale (Froh et al., 2010). The ELYS is a 15-item measure of positive psychological functioning using a Likert type scale ranging from 1 (definitely not like me) to 6 (exactly like me). ...
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The present study explored heterogeneity in the association between engaged living (i.e., social integration and absorption) and problematic Internet use (PIU). This study included 641 adolescents from four junior-senior high schools of Guangzhou, China. Besides the standard linear regression analysis, mixture regression analysis was conducted to detect certain subgroups of adolescents, based on their divergent association between engaged living and PIU. Sex, age, and psychological need were further compared among the latent subgroups. The results showed that a mixture regression model could account for more variance of PIU than a traditional linear regression model, and identified three subgroups based on their class-specific regression of PIU to engaged living. For the High-PIU class, lower social integration and higher absorption were associated with increased PIU; for the Medium-PIU class, only high social integration was linked with the increase of PIU. For the Low-PIU class, no relation between engaged living and PIU were found. Additionally, being male or having a lower level of satisfied psychological needs increased the link between engaged living and PIU. The results indicated a heterogeneous relationship between engaged living and PIU among adolescents, and prevention or intervention programs should be tailored specifically to subgroups with moderate or high levels of PIU and to those with lower levels of psychological needs’ satisfaction, as identified by the mixture regression model.
... Indeed, life satisfaction has been consistently linked with academic achievement and participation in exercise and structured extracurricular activities (see Gilman et al. 2004 ; for reviews). Similarly, Froh et al. ( 2010b ) found that young people high in engaged living (social integration and absorption; i.e., having a passion to help others and be completely immersed in activity) are more grateful, hopeful, happier, prosocial, and report elevated life satisfaction, positive affect, selfesteem, school experience, and grade point average, as well as, tend to be less depressed, envious, antisocial, and delinquent. Thus, helping adolescents become more passionate about helping others and absorbed in their activities is one way to help lay the foundation for growth and positive experiences, which promotes psychological well-being both now and in the future (Froh et al. 2010b ). ...
... Similarly, Froh et al. ( 2010b ) found that young people high in engaged living (social integration and absorption; i.e., having a passion to help others and be completely immersed in activity) are more grateful, hopeful, happier, prosocial, and report elevated life satisfaction, positive affect, selfesteem, school experience, and grade point average, as well as, tend to be less depressed, envious, antisocial, and delinquent. Thus, helping adolescents become more passionate about helping others and absorbed in their activities is one way to help lay the foundation for growth and positive experiences, which promotes psychological well-being both now and in the future (Froh et al. 2010b ). Moreover, being engaged in life may help cultivate a sense of purpose in life, which is vital considering evidence that many young people lack a realistic plan for succeeding in life, with no commitment beyond disconnected interests, and therefore are in need of serious guidance in an increasingly complicated society (Froh et al. 2010b ). ...
... Thus, helping adolescents become more passionate about helping others and absorbed in their activities is one way to help lay the foundation for growth and positive experiences, which promotes psychological well-being both now and in the future (Froh et al. 2010b ). Moreover, being engaged in life may help cultivate a sense of purpose in life, which is vital considering evidence that many young people lack a realistic plan for succeeding in life, with no commitment beyond disconnected interests, and therefore are in need of serious guidance in an increasingly complicated society (Froh et al. 2010b ). ...
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How to better the lives of people is central to the mission of positive psychology, and understanding and fostering life satisfaction is widely seen as being central to this goal. A wide range of studies attests to the role that life satisfaction plays in successful functioning in youth. Increased life satisfaction is consistently related to adaptive psychosocial functioning, interpersonal and social relationships, academic success, decreased behavior problems, increased healthier behaviors, and a host of school-related variables, including perceived academic efficacy, competence, and self-efficacy. This chapter reviews the factors that are associated with and predictive of life satisfaction in youth, including supportive interpersonal relationships with both family and peers, participation in meaningful instrumental activities, having a healthy lifestyle, cultural integration, positive behavior, and peer interactions. Further, the chapter also reviews specific positive psychology interventions that have been shown to increase life satisfaction, including gratitude diaries, the teaching of well-being in schools, and character strengths interventions.
... A deficit in personal values in life may hinder connecting to other individuals and consequently increase feelings of loneliness (Caputo, 2015;Ho, Cheung, & Cheung, 2010). On the other hand, people who are engaged in meaningful or valued activities experience increased levels of positive affect and decreased levels of negative affect (Froh, Kashdan, et al., 2010), which are associated with reduced feelings of loneliness (Ditcheva, Vrshek-Schallhorn, & Batista, 2018). In addition, engaged living is associated with decreased psychological distress (Trindade, Ferreira, Pinto-Gouveia, & Nooren, 2016) that might be evident in the form of loneliness. ...
... In addition, results revealed that engaged living partly mediates the association between gratitude and loneliness in middle-aged and older adults when it is included as a single mediator. As with psychological flexibility, prior research supports the positive association between gratitude and engaged living (Drageset et al., 2015;Froh, Emmons, Card, Bono, & Wilson, 2011) and the negative association between engaged living and loneliness (Froh, Kashdan, et al., 2010;Tam & Chan, 2019). When including engaged living as a second mediator next to psychological flexibility, the association between engaged living and loneliness disappears because psychological flexibility is fully mediating the association between trait gratitude and loneliness. ...
... The broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson, 2004) as mentioned earlier posits that gratitude can motivate people to broaden their life perspective that can embolden people to clarify personal values and promote engagement in meaningful or valued life activities, which may lead to a decrease in negative affect, and an increase in positive affect (Froh, Kashdan, et al., 2010), life satisfaction and happiness (Van Oyen-Witvliet, Richie, Root-Luna, & Van Tongeren, 2018) and might mitigate or prevent loneliness in adults over 40 years. The present study indicates that trait gratitude as a positive characteristic adds to the psychological flexibility as a personal resource to handle challenges in later life; trait gratitude supports the personal resources necessary to act in a flexible way and thereby alleviating social isolation. ...
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Objectives: The aim of the present study was to investigate the association between trait gratitude and loneliness in a Dutch population sample of adults over 40 years. In addition, the mediating role of psychological flexibility and engaged living between trait gratitude and loneliness was assessed. Method: A total sample of 163 adults of which 65 men (40%) and 98 women (60%) between 41 and 92 years (Mage = 66, SDage = 12) participated in this study. Data from the Loneliness Questionnaire, Flexibility Index Test, Engaged Living Scale and the Short Gratitude, Resentment, and Appreciation Test were used. Mediation analysis was performed. Results: Analysis showed a negative association between trait gratitude and loneliness. In addition, after adjusting for the demographic variables age, gender and educational level, the association between trait gratitude and loneliness was fully mediated by psychological flexibility, and partially mediated by engaged living. Conclusion: This study endorses the importance of trait gratitude and psychological flexibility in relation to experiencing loneliness. Further research is needed to replicate these findings in a more diverse sample and to investigate the causal relationships between these constructs. It would also be interesting to further investigate the role of different age groups and goal (dis)engagement strategies in this relation.
... Adolescents who report high life satisfaction exhibit greater gratitude, self-esteem, positive affect, and find more meaning in life than adolescents with average to low levels of life satisfaction (Proctor, Linley, and Maltby 2010). Similarly, Froh et al. (2010) found that youths who were high in engaged living tended to be more grateful, hopeful, happier, prosocial, and reported greater life satisfaction, positive affect and self-esteem (Froh et al. 2010). Several studies have shown that various character strengths are related to well-being, happiness and life satisfaction in adolescents (Gillham et al. 2011;Park and Peterson 2008;Toner et al. 2012). ...
... Adolescents who report high life satisfaction exhibit greater gratitude, self-esteem, positive affect, and find more meaning in life than adolescents with average to low levels of life satisfaction (Proctor, Linley, and Maltby 2010). Similarly, Froh et al. (2010) found that youths who were high in engaged living tended to be more grateful, hopeful, happier, prosocial, and reported greater life satisfaction, positive affect and self-esteem (Froh et al. 2010). Several studies have shown that various character strengths are related to well-being, happiness and life satisfaction in adolescents (Gillham et al. 2011;Park and Peterson 2008;Toner et al. 2012). ...
... However, maximizing positive affective states and reducing negative affective states may lead to some groups of adolescents to participate in risky behaviors, such as drinking alcohol, using drugs, having unsafe sex, smoking cigarettes, and skipping school (Caffray and Schneider 2000). On the other hand, previous studies have reported that adolescents who were highly satisfied with their lives were those who were engaged in schoolwork and extracurricular activities (Froh et al. 2010;Yeager and Bundick 2009). ...
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Seligman proposes that well-being can be achieved by three main pathways: the pleasant life or positive emotions, the engaged life, and the meaningful life. The aims of this study are to investigate the three pathways to well-being in Argentinean adolescents and analyze their relationship to life satisfaction. A sample of 255 Argentinean adolescent students (110 boys and 145 girls) who were between 13 and 18 years of age was used in this study. Participants completed the Three Pathways to Well-being Scale and the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Argentinean adolescents scored highest in the pleasant life, second highest on the engaged life and lowest on the meaningful life. The results showed that among the three pathways, only the engaged life was a significant predictor of life satisfaction; however, this was found only in a small proportion of variance (8%). In consonance with well-being theory, those adolescents who can make use of the three pathways at a high level reported the highest level of life satisfaction. Results were similar to previous findings in adult population.
... Overall, empirical research has shown that harmonious passion comprises positive outcomes such as enhanced psychological well-being, positive emotions (Philippe, Vallerand, Houlfort, Lavigne, & Donahue, 2010), higher levels of flow (Carpentier, Mageau, & Vallerand, 2012;Lavigne, Forest, & Crevier-Braud, 2012;Vallerand et al., 2003), positive affect over time (Froh et al., 2010;Vallerand et al., 2003), higher self-esteem (Froh et al., 2010), increased performance , and creativity (Liu, Chen, & Yao, 2011). On the other hand, obsessive passion leads to outcomes such as negative affect over time, rigid persistence, shame, anxiety (Vallerand et al., 2003, burnout , and higher conflict with other life contexts (Carbonneau, Vallerand, Fernet, & Guay, 2008;Vallerand et al., 2010). ...
... Overall, empirical research has shown that harmonious passion comprises positive outcomes such as enhanced psychological well-being, positive emotions (Philippe, Vallerand, Houlfort, Lavigne, & Donahue, 2010), higher levels of flow (Carpentier, Mageau, & Vallerand, 2012;Lavigne, Forest, & Crevier-Braud, 2012;Vallerand et al., 2003), positive affect over time (Froh et al., 2010;Vallerand et al., 2003), higher self-esteem (Froh et al., 2010), increased performance , and creativity (Liu, Chen, & Yao, 2011). On the other hand, obsessive passion leads to outcomes such as negative affect over time, rigid persistence, shame, anxiety (Vallerand et al., 2003, burnout , and higher conflict with other life contexts (Carbonneau, Vallerand, Fernet, & Guay, 2008;Vallerand et al., 2010). ...
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Passion is defined as a strong inclination toward an activity that people like, that they find important and in which they invest time and energy, such as working or playing football. Since a specific measure to assess levels of passion in the workplace is lacking in Spain, the aim of this study was to adapt and validate the Passion scale (Vallerand et al., 2003) into Spanish. After translating it from English to Spanish using the forward-backward translation method, it was given to a sample of 548 Spanish workers. Exploratory factor analyses were conducted to test the replicability of the scale. The results confirmed the expected two-factor structure through internal replication using exploratory factor analysis. Criterion-related validity was tested by correlating both obsessive and harmonious passion to work engagement. With regard to internal consistency, adequate Alpha coefficients were obtained for both factors.
... Predpokladali sme, že jednotlivé dimenzie EPOCH sa budú líšiť v sile vzťahov s testovanými konštruktmi v závislosti od príbuznosti konceptov (napr. sociálna opora bude silnejšie spojená so zapojením v sociálnych vzťahoch a šťastím ako so zaujatím a vytrvalosťou, s ktorými budú silnejšie asociovaná sociálna opora od učiteľov (Da nielsen et al., 2009); pozitívny postoj k životu a radosť zo života budú najsilnejšie korelovať s optimizmom a šťastím (Ben-Zur, 2003); vzhľadom na pozitívny vzťah nádeje s na cieľ orientovaným správaním a pozornosťou bude nádej najsilnejšie ko relovať so zaujatím, vytrvalosťou a optimizmom (Froh, et al., 2010); vnútorná moti vácia k učeniu, t. j. motivácia vyvierajúca z jednotlivcovho vnútra, s cieľom získať intristické hodnoty (vedomosti, kompetencie, potešenie z úspechu) bude vykazovať najsilnejšie vzťahy s vytrvalosťou a zaujatím činnosťou (Deci, Ryan, 2000)). ...
... U vysokoškolských študentov bolo zaujatie činnosťou najsilnejšie spojené so sebaocenením a nádejou, vytrvalosť s nádejou a radosťou zo života. Výsledky potvrdili, že študenti zaujatí aktivitami a schopnosťou vytrvať vo svojom úsilí vo väčšej miere zažívajú pozitívne emócie, sú optimistickejší a sebavedomejší ohľadom svojich cieľov (Froh et al., 2010). ...
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Objectives. The aim of the study was to verify factor structure, reliability and validity of the Slovak version of the EPOCH measure of adolescent well-being. The questionnaire is grounded in Seligman´s theory of human flourishing and assesses 5 positive psychological characteristics (Engagement, Perseverance, Optimism, Connectedness, and Happiness) that might foster optimal functioning in adulthood. Sample and settings. Factorial validity and reliability was evaluated within the sample of 1009 respondents (M=16.79, SD=2.10) and also in partial samples of boys and girls and respondents in early+middle and late adolescence. Validity was tested in four partial samples, gathered during one academic year as a part of a research project. Statistical analysis. To verify factor structure the confirmatory factor analysis (WLSVM) was conducted, to evaluate reliability and validity Cronbach coefficient alpha and Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated. Results. The Slovak version of the EPOCH measure demonstrated adequate levels of validity and reliability in primary, high school and university students. The five-factor structure reported by the author fit the data well and was equivalent for both genders and age groups. Limits. Additional studies with representative samples of primary, high, and university students, and verifying predictive validity are needed to further validate the measure.
... Employees who reported the combination of a positive psychological workplace climate and high engagement were also more likely to benefit from a broadened allocation of psychological resources (Shuck & Reio, 2014). Furthermore, it is theorized that people high in engaged living would be zealous about altruism, civic engagement, physical activity, and experience the associated actions as self-concordant (Froh et al., 2010). These behaviors are also strongly related with ones' PWB . ...
... These behaviors are also strongly related with ones' PWB . Thus, being engaged with life may help adults to cultivate healthy social emotional development, a sense of purpose, achievement and psychological healthiness (Froh et al., 2010). ...
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The purpose of the study was two-fold: to examine the socio-demographic and psychological predictors of well-being and formulate a socio-culturally sound approach explaining the meaning and experience of psychological well-being among Ethiopian adults. Ryan and Deci’s Self-Determination Theory was duly considered as a theoretical framework of the study. The study followed a sequential explanatory mixed method design. Both quantitative and qualitative data were obtained, via scales and open-ended questionnaires, from 438 civil servants working in Addis Ababa. 30 interviews were also conducted to gain further information. An in-depth analysis of the reliability and validity of instruments was made before employing them to the main study. The results showed that adults were better off in both their scores of psychological and subjective well-being. Besides, adults’ well-being was found to be quite a function of their gender, age, marital status, educational level and household income. Males had a healthier psychological well-being status than females, where as females were better in their subjective well-being. A significant difference in psychological well-being was also observed between emerging and young adults, in favor of the young; and between cohabitated and married adults, married being advantageous. A significant difference in subjective well-being measures was also noticed among single, cohabitated and married adults, in favor of the married adults in all measures. The finding revealed that happiness level of adults decrease as their educational status increases while the reverse is true to psychological well-being. Besides, as adults’ household income boosts, so do their psychological well-being and satisfaction in life. The regression analysis also produced significant independent contributions of household income to overall well-being of adults. As such, subjective well-being was significantly predicted by dummy variable of sex and marital status. Likewise, the agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness dimensions of personality were notable significant predictors of adults’ psychological well-being where as extraversion and agreeableness were significant predictors of their subjective well-being. Religiosity was also a significant predictor of adults’ psychological well-being. Besides, adults’ well-being was significantly predicted by the interaction between conscientiousness and religiosity. From goal pursuit dimensions, attainment of extrinsic life goals was a significant predictor of both psychological and subjective well-being. Importance and attainment of intrinsic life goals also significantly predicts adults’ psychological well-being. Finally, the subjective well-being of adults was significantly predicted by environmental mastery, positive relations with others, self-acceptance and overall psychological well-being scores of adults. The thematic analysis identified five major categories of themes, which are essential in explaining the psychological well-being of Ethiopian adults. These were; socio-cultural harmony, social cohesion, security, competence and accomplishment, and the self. Detailed discussion on the rational for including these themes was made and appropriate implications were proposed. Researchers are encouraged to expand the findings of this research and in turn develop a suitable approach taping the psychological well-being of adults living in countries like Ethiopia.
... Increased optimism has also been found to be particularly protective against depression in adolescence, reducing the risk by nearly 50 % (Patton et al. 2011), while zest has been found to be significantly linked to fewer internalising problems (anxious, depressed, and withdrawn behaviour, and somatic complaints) among adolescents (Park and Peterson 2006). Adolescents scoring high in engaged living, conceptualised as being absorbed in an activity and passionate about helping others, have been identified as being less depressed (Froh et al. 2010). ...
... Other results from the same multiple regression in the current study indicated that belief in others and engaged living were only weakly predictive of lower levels of depression. These results were unexpected, as past research proposed that an interpersonal relatedness to peers, a passion for helping others, and absorption in meaningful activity were protective against depression in adolescence (Froh et al. 2010;Joiner et al. 2002). As predicted, the combined effect of each of the covitality components on depression was greater than the effect of each trait individually. ...
Article
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This study was an examination of the strength of relations among covitality, and its underlying constructs of belief in self, emotional competence, belief in others, and engaged living, and two outcome variables: subjective well-being and depression. Participants included 361 Australian secondary school students (75 males and 286 females) who completed a series of online questionnaires related to positive psychological well-being in adolescents. The results from the first standard multiple regression analysis indicated that higher levels of belief in self, belief in others, and engaged living were significant predictors of increased subjective well-being. The results from the second standard multiple regression showed that higher levels of belief in self, belief in others, and engaged living were significant predictors of decreased feelings of depression. In both standard multiple regression models, the combined effect of the traits that comprise covitality was greater than the effect of each individual positive psychological trait.
... According to Norrish et al. (2013), positive engagement is referred to as being highly interested in living the life, curiosity, and absorption, and working toward goals with determination and vitality. Positive engagement is associated with well-being, learning, and the achievement of important goals (Froh et al., 2010;. ...
Article
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The extent to which school stakeholders perceive positive school attributes remains unclear in the literature. This study seeks to provide an understanding of positive school attributes from the school leaders and teachers’ perspectives in the Malaysian school context. This study employed a qualitative case study research design with 14 informants selected from seven Malaysian secondary schools. The thematic analysis informed six emerging themes: (1) stimulating positive emotion, (2) promoting positive engagement, (3) fostering positive relationships, (4) cultivating positive meaning, (5) nurturing positive accomplishment, and (6) cultivating spirituality in expressing positive school attributes. Fostering positive relationships were specified as (1) teacher-teacher relationship, (2) teacher-student relationship, and (3) student-student relationship. Cultivating spirituality is a newly emerged theme that is added to the unique positive school attributes. These newly added components of the existing PERMA model can trigger further research in positive education studies.
... They argued that people flourish by developing and living out of specific signature character strengths (see also . Froh et al. (2010) take a different approach by focusing on the importance of engaged living, which is defined as 'having a passion to help others and be completely immersed in activities' (p. 311). ...
Article
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The amount of psychological literature focusing on human thriving and flourishing has grown in recent years, but this topic is currently subject to much conceptual ambiguity. Evolutionary psychology, though often not included in discussions on optimal human development, provides a framework that benefits considerations of human thriving. Humans exhibit a high degree of niche construction by which they alter their environment, in turn affecting their offspring. Such niche construction is enabled by unique human capacities, but these same capacities are then required to ‘mind the gap’ between human nature and the altered environmental niche. As such, thriving may in part be understood as the ability of the individual to navigate difficulties resulting from a mismatch between their nature and niche. Three unique features of the human species that are used to both create and navigate this gap are considered as they relate to the existing literature on human thriving.
... Gratitude might be one perceptual lens through which school bonds form, and it might foster a desire for achieving academic success and participating in extracurricular activities-both of which increase student engagement. Gratitude might be a facilitator of student engagement in the following ways: academically (grateful youth report higher GPAs; , behaviorally (grateful youth are more prosocial) , cognitively (grateful youth report more meaning in life) (Froh, Kashdan et al., 2010), and affectively (grateful youth report more positive emotions) . Given gratitude's proposed contributions to student engagement, an important question to ask is: Do school-based curricula exist to teach youth how to become more grateful? ...
Chapter
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A body of research has emerged during the past three decades focusing on how students engage in the schooling process and the broader positive developmental outcomes associated with high levels of engagement and the lower involvement in high-risk behaviors. This chapter suggests that gratitude might offer a unique contribution for understanding how affective engagement and positive relationships could enhance student school bonding and thereby student social-emotional and academic outcomes
... Only recently has this perspective focused on the enhancement of positive mental health for children and adolescents (Howell, Keyes, & Passmore, 2013), with little study of positive processes among adolescents (in comparison to that of college students and adults). When positive processes during adolescence such as engaged living have been examined, positive associations have been found with various dimensions of psychological well-being (Froh et al., 2010). ...
Article
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Self-compassion has been associated with well-being in adult samples, but has rarely been assessed in adolescents. In this study, 90 students ages 11-18 completed an online survey assessing self-compassion, life satisfaction, perceived stress and positive and negative affect. Findings indicated that older female adolescents had lower self-compassion than either older male adolescents or early adolescents of either gender, and self-compassion was associated significantly with all dimensions of emotional well-being with the exception of positive affect. Additionally, phase of adolescence, but not gender, was found to moderate the relationship between self-compassion and dimensions of well-being; for older adolescents, the inverse relationship between self-compassion and negative affect was stronger. Lastly, the influence of the various components of self-compassion was investigated and discussed.
... Gillham et al. ( 2011 ) showed that, among 149 high school students, other-directed strengths (such as kindness) predicted less depression, whereas transcendence strengths (e.g., religiousness) predicted greater life satisfaction. Froh et al. ( 2010 ) devised a 15-item measure, the Engaged Living in Youth Scale, to assess the extent to which engaged living is associated with well-being. Engaged living was defi ned as "having a passion to help others and be completely immersed in activities" (p. ...
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Past research on child and adolescent mental health has focused upon outcomes characterized by the absence of ill-health, such as the absence of substance abuse or depression. In contrast to this pathology or deficit model, we review research focused upon positive indicators of youth mental health, such as the presence of happiness or engagement. We first describe the complete state and dual-factor models of mental health, in which mental health and mental disorder are viewed as separate but (inversely) related dimensions of functioning. We then review evidence in support of these conceptualizations. Next, we examine predictors of youth’s scores on the mental health dimension of functioning, such as need satisfaction, character strengths, benefit finding, engagement, and nature involvement. We then turn to interventions aimed at boosting scores on the mental health dimension, including hope-enhancing interventions and those emphasizing mindfulness and gratitude expression. We conclude by examining additional conceptualizations of the interplay of mental health and mental disorder dimensions of functioning in youth, and offer suggestions for areas of future investigation.
... Studies that investigate the bodybuilding community from a pathological perspective are numerous (Bjornestad et al., 2013). This may be explained by psychology's strong interest in pathology instead of flourishing (Froh et al., 2010). However, research has begun to accumulate on positive psychology, with the aim of understanding what methods help people to move towards positive development (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). ...
... Gratitude might be one perceptual lens through which school bonds form, and it might foster a desire for achieving academic success and participating in extracurricular activities-both of which increase student engagement. Gratitude might be a facilitator of student engagement in the following ways: academically (grateful youth report higher GPAs; , behaviorally (grateful youth are more prosocial) , cognitively (grateful youth report more meaning in life) (Froh, Kashdan et al., 2010), and affectively (grateful youth report more positive emotions) . Given gratitude's proposed contributions to student engagement, an important question to ask is: Do school-based curricula exist to teach youth how to become more grateful? ...
Article
Full-text available
A body of research has emerged during the past three decades focusing on how students engage in the schooling process and the broader positive developmental outcomes associated with high levels of engagement and lower involvement in high-risk behaviors. This chapter suggests that gratitude might offer a unique contribution for understanding how affective engagement and positive relationships could enhance student school bonding and thereby student social-emotional and academic outcomes.
... Studies that investigate the bodybuilding community from a pathological perspective are numerous (Bjornestad et al., 2013). This may be explained by psychology's strong interest in pathology instead of flourishing (Froh et al., 2010). However, research has begun to accumulate on positive psychology, with the aim of understanding what methods help people to move towards positive development (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). ...
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Female professional bodybuilders have received a substantial amount of scholarly and media attention. However, investigations have largely been conducted from a pathologizing perspective. This exploratory research investigated the female bodybuilding community from a positive development perspective. Thematic analysis was applied to twenty four publicly available online video interviews of female professional bodybuilders ranging in age from 29-49 years to understand the reasons as to why females take up the sport of bodybuilding, and to identify factors that contribute towards continued participation. Identified themes were framed within Self-Determination Theory. The findings indicate that pursuing bodybuilding can provide mechanisms that link the activity to psychological well-being by enhancing autonomy, competence, and relatedness. In light of these findings, it is a worthwhile endeavor for researchers to further examine the sport of female bodybuilding from a positive functioning perspective. Further research can provide a better understanding of how active engagement in bodybuilding can positively impact psychological health and subjective well-being.
... I bambini che sperimentano relazioni positive a scuola si impegnano di più e hanno risultati migliori. Le competenze sociali dei bambini verso i pari sono correlate positivamente con la realizzazione personale, il successo scolastico ), l'autostima (Bandura, 1986) e il raggiungimento degli obiettivi (Froh et al., 2010, Hunter e Csikszentmihalyi, 2003. Suldo et al. (2011a;2011b) hanno dimostrato che gli studenti che stanno meglio a scuola fanno meno assenze, anche a distanza di un anno dalla prima rilevazione. ...
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Research in measuring and monitoring children’s wellbeing has been growing in recent decades (Ben-Arieh and Goerge, 2001; Land, Lamb, et al., 2001). Positive psychology (Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi, 2000) recognizes school as one of the main educational agencies. Researches are focused on the conditions that contribute to the optimal functioning (flourishing) of people, groups and institutions, even in the school context (Oades, Robinson, et al., 2011; Seligman, 2011). The present research explores the relations between school and global well-being in children specifically to their reading and writing abilities. 87 children, aged from 7 to 10 years, who are attending primary school, took part to the study. A quantitative methodology (questionnaires) was used to investigate the children's global well-being (Comprehensive Inventory of Thriving, Su, Tay and Diener, 2014), the well-being in school (Questionario sul Benessere Scolastico, Tobia and Marzocchi, 2015) and further tasks to assess children’s reading and writing abilities (MT, Cornoldi e Colpo, 2007; CEO, Bozzo, Pesenti, et al., 2003); the draw and write technique (Williams et al., 1989) was used to investigate the experience of well-being in order to allow children to freely represent their experience compaired to self-report measures. The results show interesting relations between: global well-being, school well-being and reading and writing abilities, according to the research hypotheses.
... the course of the writing conditions, we used LIWC ( Pennebaker, Booth, & Francis, 2007), which identifies words that match dictionaries and calculates the percentage of those words compared to the overall number of words participants used for that response. The following LIWC language categories were tested: positive emotion, negative emotion, social, religious, insight, and gratitude using a gratitude dictionary ( Witvliet et al., 2010). ...
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Gratitude is the appreciation of a gift received; happiness is the enjoyment of a present good; and hope is the desire for a valued future. Two studies investigated gratitude as a predictor of hope and happiness. In Study 1, hierarchical regressions (N = 181) revealed that trait gratitude exceeded other constructs (forgivingness, patience, self-control) in predicting trait hope and happiness. In Study 2, we experimentally tested the impact of a gratitude-related writing intervention on state hope and happiness. Participants (N = 153) first wrote about a current, meaningful, hoped-for outcome and completed state hope and happiness measures. Participants were randomly assigned to either (a) gratefully remember a past hope that had been fulfilled or (b) a control condition. The grateful remembering condition (vs. control) prompted significant increases in state hope and happiness, commending grateful remembering as a practice that can bolster present happiness and hope for the future.
... Such approaches emphasize optimal development rather than simply normative functioning. Consequently, living with purpose (Damon et al., 2003;Keyes, 2007); regulated goal pursuit (Ryan & Deci, 2000); growing in the "5 C's" of competency, confidence, character, connection, compassion (Lerner et al., in press); and engaged living (Froh et al., 2010) are hallmarks of psychological approaches that focus on flourishing and thriving. ...
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While positive psychology has considered a social science perspective of optimal development and living, a pressing question for the integration of psychology and theology is to consider what Christian theology suggests is essential for humans to thrive. Recognizing that God's purposeful action in creation has a telos, that is, a goal or purpose for humankind, propels Christian psychologists to investigate a theology of thriving in order to more fully grasp what God has intended for humanity. In this essay we argue that the Christian faith uniquely contributes multiple perspectives to our understanding of human thriving and flourishing that are central to psychological inquiry and are unique contributions to positive psychology. Specifically, the doctrines of creation and imago Dei broaden and deepen our understanding of thriving by providing a teleological perspective.
... According to Lerner (2004), mutually beneficial interactions between the individual and society as a whole undergird a democratic society in which both thrive as they improve their various capacities to make meaningful contributions. Others identify a key outcome of ideal personal development as "making culturally appropriate contributions to self and society" (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000) or as leading an engaged life with passion for what one is doing and with social integration that assists and feels connected with others (Froh et al., 2010). Similarly, Bundick and colleagues (2010) define thriving as "a dynamic and purposeful process of individual ← → context interactions over time, through which the person and his/her environment are mutually enhanced" (p. ...
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The most specific psychological literature associates joy with goodness; however, psychological science has no clear means to distinguish one good thing from another or to decipher the degree of goodness required to designate joy beyond subjective or conventional opinion. In order to provide a framework for a science of joy that identifies both the psychological processes that comprise joy and a means of understanding and operationalizing goodness, I conceptualize joy as a virtue of knowing, feeling, and doing what matters most and propose a teleological framework to conceptualize goodness. Such a multidimensional understanding of joy informed by characteristic adaptations given meaning by a transcendent narrative identity and a developmental, contextual telos of the reciprocating self sheds light on the potential power of joy as a psychological phenomenon favorable for sustained positive affect that is animating and expansive, yet simultaneously has moral and spiritual heft to guide people in lives worth living.
... According to Lerner (2004), mutually beneficial interactions between the individual and society as a whole undergird a democratic society in which both thrive as they improve their various capacities to make meaningful contributions. Others identify a key outcome of ideal personal development as "making culturally appropriate contributions to self and society" (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000) or as leading an engaged life with passion for what one is doing and with social integration that assists and feels connected with others (Froh et al., 2010). Similarly, Bundick and colleagues (2010) define thriving as "a dynamic and purposeful process of individual ← → context interactions over time, through which the person and his/her environment are mutually enhanced" (p. ...
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To grasp human flourishing and thriving, we must understand joy. However, no theoretical models explain the complexity of joy as a fruit of the Spirit, nor fully account for its impact on human life. We suggest that joy is best conceptualized as a virtue, a psychological habit, comprised of characteristic adaptations and given meaning by transcendent narrative identity (McAdams & Pals, 2006). Thus joy involves knowing, feeling, and enacting what matters most. Developmental science and Christian theological approaches to teleology inform the ultimate ends to which joy is aimed. They suggest that telos, the purpose or goal of development, may be understood as a dynamic process that perpetuates human and social thriving and involves (1) the growing self, (2) mutually beneficial relationships, and (3) evolving moral guidelines that ensure an ongoing fit and flourishing of self and society (King et al., in press; Schnitker et al., 2019). We synthesize developmental psychology, virtue science, and theology to propose a definition and framework for understanding the development of joy through thriving. In order to promote scholarship on joy and to elucidate its transformative nature, we discuss joy in light of suffering, justice, and eschatology and identify issues for research.
... Firstly, ACT targets change through values and value-based processes, seeking and finding purpose in life and acting on those values, which has been suggested to promote adolescent well-being and to buffer against pitfalls in youth (Hill, Burrow, & Sumner, 2013). Adolescents who actively engage in purpose seeking seem to be more meaningfully engaged in what they are doing (Froh et al., 2010), demonstrate more passion for what they do, and are less likely to be depressed (e.g., DuRant, Cadenhead, Pendergrast, Slavens, & Linder, 1994). In addition, they are less likely to drink alcohol and use drugs (e.g., Kinnier, Metha, Okey, & Keim, 1994;Minehan, Newcomb, & Galaif, 2000), and are more likely to be less violent (DuRant et al., 1994). ...
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Purpose Mental health problems affect 10-20% of adolescents worldwide. Prevention and early interventions for promoting adolescent mental health are therefore warranted. The aim of this randomized controlled trial was to examine the effects of a 5-week web-intervention (Youth COMPASS) based on the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy on adolescents’ depressive symptoms, life satisfaction and psychological flexibility. Methods The sample comprised 243 adolescents at the age of 15-16 years (51%females) from 15 lower secondary schools. Participants were randomly assigned to three groups of which two groups received an ACT-based online-intervention including support via WhatsApp. The two ACT interventions + WhatsApp contact differed from each other regarding the amount of personal support (iACT + two face-to-face sessions vs iACT with no face-to-face sessions). These two iACT interventions were compared to no intervention (control). Adolescents’ psychological wellbeing was measured pre and post intervention using the Depression Scale (DEPS), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), and Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth (ATQ-Y). Results Adolescents showing more avoidance of unpleasant thoughts and feelings, and cognitive fusion reported more depressive symptoms and a lower level of satisfaction with life. This association was stronger among girls than boys. The iACT online-intervention + WhapApp contact with two face-to-face meeting or without them decreased adolescents’ depressive symptoms and increased life satisfaction among those who had completed more than half of the program (d = 0.20). No significant effect was obtained for avoidance (psychological flexibility). The iACT intervention including face-to-face contact showed different effects on girls and boys in regards to depression symptoms and psychological flexibility skills. Conclusions Findings showed that the ACT-based web-intervention for adolescents could be a viable early intervention for preventing mental health problems in adolescents and for promoting adolescent wellbeing. Our findings call for further studies investigation whether girls and boys benefit of different type online interventions.
... According to Norrish et al. (2013), positive engagement is referred to as being highly interested in living the life, curiosity, and absorption, and working toward goals with determination and vitality. Positive engagement is associated with well-being, learning, and the achievement of important goals (Froh et al., 2010;. ...
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The extent to which school stakeholders perceive positive school attributes remains unclear in the literature. This study seeks to provide an understanding of positive school attributes from the school leaders and teachers’ perspectives in the Malaysian school context. This study employed a qualitative case study research design with 14 informants selected from seven Malaysian secondary schools. The thematic analysis informed six emerging themes: (1) stimulating positive emotion, (2) promoting positive engagement, (3) fostering positive relationships, (4) cultivating positive meaning, (5) nurturing positive accomplishment, and (6) cultivating spirituality in expressing positive school attributes. Fostering positive relationships were specified as (1) teacher-teacher relationship, (2) teacher-student relationship, and (3) student-student relationship. Cultivating spirituality is a newly emerged theme that is added to the unique positive school attributes. These newly added components of the existing PERMA model can trigger further research in positive education studies.
... According to Norrish et al. (2013), positive engagement is referred to as being highly interested in living the life, curiosity, and absorption, and working toward goals with determination and vitality. Positive engagement is associated with well-being, learning, and the achievement of important goals (Froh et al., 2010;. ...
Article
The extent to which school stakeholders perceive positive school attributes remains unclear in the literature. This study seeks to provide an understanding of positive school attributes from the school leaders and teachers’ perspectives in the Malaysian school context. This study employed a qualitative case study research design with 14 informants selected from seven Malaysian secondary schools. The thematic analysis informed six emerging themes: (1) stimulating positive emotion, (2) promoting positive engagement, (3) fostering positive relationships, (4) cultivating positive meaning, (5) nurturing positive accomplishment, and (6) cultivating spirituality in expressing positive school attributes. Fostering positive relationships were specified as (1) teacher-teacher relationship, (2) teacher-student relationship, and (3) student-student relationship. Cultivating spirituality is a newly emerged theme that is added to the unique positive school attributes. These newly added components of the existing PERMA model can trigger further research in positive education studies.
... Positive engagement aims to promote complete immersion in activities by understanding the nature of engagement, the pathways to it, and the effect it has on health and well-being (Norrish, 2015). In addition to appreciating well-being, engagement is beneficial for accomplishment and achievement (Froh et al., 2010). ...
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Positive Psychology is applied to broaden the learning of a second language, whose application in schools is referred to as Positive Education. The PERMA model (Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment) proposed by Seligman provides a way for positive education to flourish and open up a new perspective for Chinese scholars in different fields. Hence, the main focus of this study was to explore the effect of PERMA on students’ English listening and speaking competency in the Chinese context. This study used a quasi-experimental and a mixed method research design, which included developing a curriculum of PERMA in English speaking and listening, teaching intervention, and a speaking and listening competence test. A total of 240 students studying the same course from six classes, specializing in arts and science, participated in the teaching experiment with the same study level. A total of 110 students in the control group (CG) were taught using traditional teaching methods and the remaining 130 in the experimental group (EG) were subjected to a PERMA intervention for 14 weeks. The results of a one-way ANCOVA indicated a significant improvement in English listening and speaking proficiency of those in the experimental group due to the intervention of PERMA. The outcome of qualitative study conducted by semi-structured interview revealed that students had made progress in English pronunciation, oral expression in their speaking competency. They could also keep up with the speed of audio script and they understood key sentences and details in the listening process. The study pedagogically implicated that whole school approach, including the changes of curriculum, teaching skills, teacher education, and community involvement, should be explored for a new framework of Positive Language Education.
... Engaged living. One SEHS-S subscale measured engaged living, which comprises three psychological strengths derived from positive psychology (i.e., optimism, zest, and gratitude), describing a person's adjustment to and passion for life (Froh et al., 2010;Renshaw et al., 2014). Engaged living has significant correlations with positive mental health . ...
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Social support is empirically linked to improved adolescent psychological and academic functioning. This study explored typologies characterized by family, peer, and school support among students in early (Grade 7; n = 27,399) and late (Grade 11; n = 27,984) adolescence. We assessed how each latent profile related to key aspects of psychological and academic functioning and the moderation of gender in these associations. Three convergent profiles (i.e., High, Moderate, and Low Support) and two divergent profiles (i.e., Minimum Peer Support and Minimum Family Support) were found in both grade levels, with psychological and academic functioning differentiated by the profiles. The Minimum Peer Support and Minimum Family Support profiles showed the lowest functioning in all domains across grade levels. The High Support profile showed the highest psychological health and academic performance. Gender moderation was observed in the associations between social support profiles and psychological functioning and was more prominent among 7th graders than 11th graders. Findings suggest that social support's impact is determined by combinations of various support sources, age, and gender. The social support profiles and their associations with students' characteristics and outcomes may inform practitioners in supporting vulnerable groups and planning interventions.
... Further, life satisfaction has been found to be positively associated with multiple school related variables, including school satisfaction, teacher support, and perceived academic achievement, competence, and self-efficacy (see for a review). Other notable work on positive subjective experiences in children and adolescents has been conducted by Froh et al. (2010) who have demonstrated that youths high in engaged living (social integration and absorption; i.e., having a passion to help others and be completely immersed in activity) are more grateful, hopeful, happier, prosocial, and report elevated life satisfaction, positive affect, self-esteem, school experience, and grade point average, as well as, tend to be less depressed, envious, antisocial, and delinquent. ...
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As we write, it has been almost 14 years since Martin Seligman inaugurated the emergence of positive psychology as a discipline, with his Presidential Address to the American Psychological Association. Despite the intervening decade and more, we are surprised at how little attention-in relative terms at least - has been dedicated to positive psychology theory, research, and applications as they pertain to children and adolescents. Looking back, this is perhaps reflective of positive psychology's de facto roots in social and clinical psychology, and its limited foundations in developmental and educational psychology, which are of course the disciplines where we might expect to find the most work in relation to children and adolescents. © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013. All rights are reserved.
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This study aimed to investigate the relationship among three potential protective factors: satisfaction with life, three routes to well-being and meaning in life, and eating disorder symptoms and body dissatisfaction in male and female adolescents. The sample was composed of 247 adolescent students aged 13 to 18 years. The findings of this study support the protective roles of satisfaction with life and engagement as routes to well-being in male adolescents and particularly in female adolescents. Positive interventions to promote satisfaction with life and engagement in activities in school are highly recommended.
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Grateful people experience more psychological well-being, social connectedness, and feelings of personal accomplishment, along with less burnout. They also use more adaptive approach-oriented coping strategies. Thus, we hypothesized that trait gratitude and grateful coping strategies would be associated with various indicators/predictors of academic retention and success, including psychological variables (social integration, academic integration, degree commitment, and general college persistence) and academic variables (number of withdrawn courses, number of failed courses, and GPA). Fifty-four undergraduates completed self-report measures of all variables except GPA, which was accessed via transcripts when permitted. At least one facet of trait gratitude was associated with each outcome variable. Grateful coping was associated primarily with the psychological outcome variables, with growth-focused coping emerging as the most consistent positive predictor and social support seeking often emerging as a negative predictor. We discuss implementing gratitude-enhancing techniques as a possible strategy for improving integration, commitment, persistence, and success in college.
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A pool of 141 juvenile justice intervention studies conducted in the United States, utilizing a control group, reporting quantitative outcomes and spanning the years 1996 to 2009 were identified via electronic searches. Study inclusion into the summary of best practices was based on the demonstrated equivalence of study groups (treatment and control) at the start of the study, the equivalence of the study groups at post-test, and the degree to which fidelity to treatment procedures was demonstrated. Of the 141 studies, 120 failed quality review, mostly due to fidelity issues. Of the 21 articles that passed, 76% used a therapeutic approach (vs. behavioral control) to behavioral change, with the treatment group outperforming the control group in 88% of the therapeutic intervention studies.
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The objective of this study was to systematically review the psychometric properties of the measures used in assessing the psychosocial well-being status of children and adolescents. This review updates and expands on the previous review of the literature on child well-being in order to assess all available studies from 2000 to 2013 on the measurement properties of all available well-being assessment instruments that aim to measure the construct of well-being in childhood and adolescence. Overall, 182 measures designed for measuring child and adolescent well-being were found. These measures vary in length and structure from one item scales to multidimensional questionnaires with 70 items and more. Most of the instruments measure positive indicators of well-being (e.g., life satisfaction, quality of life, self-esteem, etc.), others measure deficit indicators (e.g., anxiety, depression, stress, etc.), and a few instruments measure both positive and deficit indicators. In addition, there are some instruments with undefined modality of well-being. Thus, our study has revealed an ongoing theoretical shift from a deficit approach to well-being to a strengths-based approach. The results also indicate that the reliability information is reported for the majority of the instruments. The most frequently used reliability measure for all these instruments is the Cronbach's alpha internal consistency coefficient. The reports of validity are available for approximately one-third of the instruments. Measures of well-being in adolescence are dominant, however, some instruments are suitable for the measurement of well-being and its indicators in childhood, and some reach the period of emerging adulthood (19-21 years). Most of the studies were conducted in North America and Europe with only a few of them being cross-cultural.
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Mystical experiences are often described as being among the most profound and meaningful events of a person’s life. Their occurrence, while a normal but uncommon phenomenon, is reliably occasioned by psychedelic substances under the appropriate conditions, although care is needed around the context of usage to help ensure safe and beneficial experiences. The occurrence of mystical experiences in psychedelic sessions is a key mediator of the sustained psychological benefits reported in both healthy and clinical populations. Certain factors including set and setting, drug dosage, trait absorption, drug type, intention and states of surrender and acceptance all predict or influence the occurrence of mystical experiences. Various additional factors may further contribute to the occurrence and intensity of mystical experiences and enhance their long-term benefits, including music, meditation and spiritual practices and nature-based settings. This review examines these factors and considers how they might be optimised to increase the chances of a mystical experience occurring, while also considering factors that are negatively associated with mystical experiences with suggestions on how these might be mitigated where applicable. Finally, potential future research avenues for furthering our knowledge of psychedelic mystical experiences and how their benefits might be enhanced is suggested. Maximising the potential for the occurrence of mystical experiences is an important aspect of the beneficial application of psychedelics.
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This comprehensive yet brief overview of the adolescent human brain discusses how the brain develops during this critical period of life and how that development impacts decision-making and risk-taking behavior in the adolescent. This originated as a white paper requested by the Canadian government for a specific group looking to understand adolescent brain development in the context of adolescent behavior. The paper was not made available to the Canadian government outside of the specific task force that requested it nor to the general public. The authors have since decided that having put so much effort into concisely summarizing research on adolescent brain development, it would be a useful addition to researchers in psychology generally. The original paper has since been updated and revised considerably.
Chapter
This chapter explains the methodology undergirding many of the studies on which this book is based. Those studies examine students’ engagement from moment to moment while in educational contexts with the experience sampling method, or ESM. Respondents of these studies carried a paging device (usually a programmable wristwatch), which signals them at random moments throughout the day. Each time they were signaled, they completed a brief questionnaire in which they answered open-ended and scaled questions about the day and time of the signal, their activities and thoughts, as well as the cognitive, affective, and motivational qualities of their experience. To study engagement, my colleagues and I analyzed ESM reports occurring while in schools exclusively, and especially while in classrooms, from the Sloan Study of Youth and Social Development (SSYSD), a nationally representative study conducted at the University of Chicago. On average, high school students report being less engaged while in classrooms than in almost any other setting in which they spend significant time. Students felt significantly more engaged, however, given certain perceptions of both instruction and themselves. Concentration, attentiveness, and overall engagement were significantly enhanced, for example, when instruction was perceived as challenging, relevant, and appropriately challenging and when students perceived themselves to be active, in control, and competent. Students were also significantly more engaged in group and individual work than while listening to a lecture or watching TV or a video. Students in our sample were also significantly more engaged in their nonacademic courses than in their academic ones.
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Two motivational models were tested with a focus on affective outcomes from identity-defining activities, namely the dualistic model of passion and the two-dimensional model of escapism. A path model was tested with two dimensions of escapism intentions, namely self-expansion and self-suppression, placed as potential mediating variables on the effects of har-monious and obsessive passion on positive and negative affect. The model fitted the data well, thereby explaining affective outcomes from engagement in recreational sport activities, with one path predicting positive affect (harmonious passion -> self-expansion -> positive affect) and one predicting negative affect (obsessive passion -> self-suppression -> negative affect). Escapism dimensions partially mediated the effects from passion toward affective outcomes. The findings illustrate the relevance of passion and escapism in explaining affective outcomes from engagement in identity-defining activities.
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Group differences in engagement have been found by gender as well as race and ethnicity, among other individual-level variables. Studies using the experience sampling method (ESM) in particular have found an “engagement–achievement paradox” in which students from low SES communities and African American students have reported higher levels of engagement in school despite underachieving relative to their peers. This may be attributed, in part, to the decline in engagement white students and those from high SES communities experience when in school compared to the home and public context. Research shows that the obsessive focus on achievement within a culture of competition can have deleterious effects on engagement and authentic interest in learning. Theories of social reproduction postulate that schools, especially their most competitive features, are mechanisms for reproducing class advantage from one generation to the next, thus stabilizing the socioeconomic status quo through time. However, research suggests that a focus on competitive success in school is frequently accompanied by an undermining of meaningful forms of engagement in learning.
Chapter
Meaning in life is a powerful predictor of both motivation and wellbeing. Perhaps no other motivating force is greater than to possess a calling and believe that one is destined to fulfil a specific life role, regardless of sacrifice, with an attitude that in doing so, his or her effort will make a meaningful contribution to the greater good. This chapter describes a series of studies investigating calling in childrearing, a previously unexplored domain of calling. In a series of four studies utilising qualitative and quantitative methods, the applicability and the function of calling will be described. Over 800 participants contributed data that led to the development of a three-factor, 11-item scale that measured calling in childrearing. This chapter will describe the associations that exist between a parent’s perceived calling in childrearing and a range of important wellbeing and parenting variables, including authoritative parenting style, importance of parenting, pleasure of parenting, parenting satisfaction, presence of meaning in life, satisfaction with life, savouring, and positive affect. This chapter will also briefly explore research that considered how parental sense of calling is related to wellbeing in early adolescence. Calling appears to be a salient and useful construct in childrearing, demonstrates consistency in function across domains, and is related to optimal parent and child wellbeing.
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How do researchers define passion? What are the outcomes of passion? What variables ignite passion? To answer these questions, we performed a systematic review of studies within the context of education. After conducting a search in major electronic databases, we presented the primary findings of 13 articles from 2004 to 2013. This review indicates that the most shared features of passion´s conceptualization are dedication, persistence, identification with and love for the activity. Passion research in education revealed a diversity of consequences, such as engagement, creativity, the subject’s election or mastery goals, and a diversity of promoters, such as positive relationships, supportive context or an innovative cognitive style. An understanding of passion is important in fostering students’ adjustment and knowledge. We conclude this review with some theoretical and methodological suggestions for future research.
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Gratitude, the experience of appreciating the positive aspects in life, has been associated with increased subjective wellbeing (SWB). This paper proposes two causal frameworks (i.e., a cognitive and a psycho-social framework) that highlight the possible mechanisms by which gratitude influences SWB. This paper provides support for these two frameworks by reviewing research conducted to date on the relationship between the experience of gratitude and SWB, in terms of reduced symptoms of psychopathology, better interpersonal relationships, and improved physical health. In addition, the promising potential of gratitude interventions to improve SWB in healthy individuals and those with symptoms of psychopathology are reviewed. While gratitude interventions represent a relatively new approach, the limited evidence suggests that they may eventually provide an effective form of intervention that can be used to complement current therapy aprroaches for improving SWB. Therefore its potential application in clinical populations and the underlying mechanisms that might be driving the positive effects of gratitude interventions in improving SWB deserve further research attention.
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Peace of mind (PoM) has been associated with positive psychological and well-being outcomes. However, it seems that limited research has been done to assess the role of PoM in the educational setting. The present study addressed this gap through examining the association of PoM with academic engagement via a cross-sectional (Study 1) and a two-wave cross-lagged study (Study 2) in the Philippine setting. Results of hierarchical regression in Study 1 revealed that PoM was positively associated academic engagement even after controlling for relevant demographic variables, positive affect, and life satisfaction. In Study 2, results of the cross-lagged structural equation modeling showed that Time 1 PoM was associated with higher extent of Time 2 academic engagement even after controlling for autoregressor effects, Time 1 positive affect, and Time 1 life satisfaction. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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Frankl (1963) suggested that we each have a uniqueness that is irreplaceable. Just as no two people have the same set of fingerprints, no two people have exactly the same set of strengths, talents, passions and experiences. Therefore, each person can make a distinct contribution to this world. Each of us has a unique purpose for our lives. People who live their purpose enjoy greater health, life satisfaction and overall well-being (Kashdan & McKnight, 2009). However, many people are not living their purpose – and worse yet, they aren’t sure what their purpose is. In desperate search for purpose, they are miserable (Steger, 2008). Among this group are Generation X women who have “everything” – more education, successful careers and their own homes - and yet many feel empty inside. Despite achieving more objective success, women today are significantly more depressed than women were 30 years ago (Stevenson & Wolfers, 2009). Perhaps women are looking in the wrong places for their own happiness. Positive psychology, the scientific study of well-being finds that meaning is one of the critical aspects of human flourishing (Seligman, 2002, 2011). Akin to Maslow’s (1943) hierarchy of human needs, the highest need is living beyond oneself toward a greater good – a fate to which one is called. This calling is our life purpose and when living our purpose, we flourish. The first half of this document reviews existing literature on meaning and purpose, describes the value of purpose, and the consequences when one is “stuck” searching for their purpose. The second half offers a research-based positive psychology program for finding one’s purpose. As such, this work offers tremendous opportunity to empower women, enhance their lives and that of those around them. Moreover, as purpose necessarily supports a greater good, with more people living their purpose, society flourishes.
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A theory is proposed to explain how religion/spirituality (R/S) is related to positive youth development and thriving. The concept of telos is employed to define thriving as continued growth through strength-based living that leads to contributing to one’s communities and living out one’s ethical ideals. Virtue development is proposed as a primary process by which R/S promotes thriving. Virtues are defined as hybrid personality units emerging when characteristic adaptations are given meaning by a transcendent narrative identity. R/S contributes to virtue formation through the ideological, social, and transcendent contexts embedded within religion by providing opportunities to grow both the characteristic adaptations and transcendent narrative identities necessary for virtue formation in youth and, ultimately, thriving. Implications for future research are discussed.
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Until recently, escapism was generally seen as a negative phenomenon, due to its common conceptualization as an escape from reality; however, with the new model a more positive approach, distinguishing between self-suppression and self-expansion, began. In our study, we looked into the mechanisms underlying both components of escapism, where a sample of 147 students individually chose their escapist activity. Building on the two-dimensional conceptualization of escapism, we assumed that self-suppression would be associated with higher levels of self-alienation, while escapism as self-expansion would be related to higher levels of dispositional mindfulness and indirectly to a tendency to achieve flow. Results confirmed that self-suppression escapism and self-alienation share a positive correlation, with later also being a significant predictor of self-suppression escapism. However, contrary to our prediction, self-expansion escapism is not associated with dispositional mindfulness, nor does it represent a significant moderator in the relationship between self-expansion and flow. This study has extended the current understanding of escapist activities' complex nature in relation to psychological factors. Moreover, we contributed to the currently still sparse knowledge of escapism, and shed light on its positive side, which certainly exists, since escapism can lead not only to suppression of self but also to its enrichment and expansion.
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Rationale Positive mental health is a critical component of overall mental health, but our understanding of the potential drivers of positive mental health is lacking. Participation in the arts may contribute to positive mental health through the mechanism of flow, a mental state of becoming completely engrossed in an enjoyable activity. Participation in performing arts specifically may be especially predictive of positive mental health due to its collective nature. Objective and methods This study uses the Population Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) Transition to Adulthood Sample (N = 5657 person-years) to investigate whether participation in performing arts predicts positive mental health in young adults in the US through adjusted least squares and individual-level fixed-effects linear regression models across three waves of data per individual. Additionally, the study investigates different levels of participation to establish a dose response and employs stratified analyses by race/ethnicity, income, and gender. Results Results show that, compared to no participation, participating in the performing arts every day is associated with an increase in positive mental health of a 0.315 effect size [p < 0.001]. White and higher income individuals are more likely to participate in the arts than people of color and lower income individuals. Yet, the association between performing arts and positive mental health is similar, if not greater, for people of color than it is for White individuals. Conclusion This study shows strong associations between frequent performing arts participation and positive mental health and suggests that more resources should be allocated to performing arts access for young adults from diverse backgrounds.
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In this review, we discuss three questions about the importance of studying purpose as a construct relevant to adolescence. We consider how finding a purpose can help youth answer questions such as “Who am I?” and “Where am I going?” and summarize the benefits of finding a purpose during adolescence. Purposeful youth are more agentic and driven in their lives, as well as happier and less susceptible to risks common in adolescence. We conclude by identifying areas that merit study, including the need to understand which contexts best scaffold the development of purpose among youth and the need for experimental research to strengthen causal claims.
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The performance of five methods for determining the number of components to retain (Horn's parallel analysis, Velicer's minimum average partial [MAP], Cattell's scree test, Bartlett's chi-square test, and Kaiser's eigenvalue greater than 1.0 rule) was investigated across seven systematically varied conditions (sample size, number of variables, number of components, component saturation, equal or unequal numbers of variables per component, and the presence or absence of unique and complex variables). We generated five sample correlation matrices at each of two sample sizes from the 48 known population correlation matrices representing six levels of component pattern complexity. The performance of the parallel analysis and MAP methods was generally the best across all situations. The scree test was generally accurate but variable. Bartlett's chi-square test was less accurate and more variable than the scree test. Kaiser's method tended to severely overestimate the number of components. We discuss recommendations concerning the conditions under which each of the methods are accurate, along with the most effective and useful methods combinations.
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In recent years, a number of studies have used the material values scale (MVS) developed by Richins and Dawson (1992) to examine materialism as a facet of consumer behavior. This research examines the MVS in light of the accumulated evidence concerning this measure. A review of published studies reportinginformation about the scale and analysis of 15 raw data sets that contain the MVS and other measures revealed that the MVS performs well in terms of reliability and empirical usefulness, but the dimensional structure proposed by Richins and Dawson is not always evident in the data. This article proposes a 15-item measure of the MVS that has better dimension properties than the original version. It also reports the development of a short version of the MVS. Scale lengths of nine, six, and three items were investigated. Results indicate that the nine-item version possesses acceptable psychometric properties when used to measure materialism at a general level. This article also describes a psychometric approach for developing shorter versions of extant multiitem measures.
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Self-esteem refers to the value or worth, both positive and negative that people associate with themselves. Rosenberg Self-esteem scale (RSES) is a brief and unidimensional measure of global self-esteem. A survey was conducted in 123, Form two students, aged 12-13 from King George V, Seremban, using 10-item Rosenberg Self-esteem scale (RSES). The questions had been translated into the Malay language and back translated into English. Exploratory factor analysis revealed two constructs of: (i) positively worded (items 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 10) and, (ii) negatively worded items (3, 5, 6 and 9). Items 8 (I wish I could have more respect for myself) shows inverse correlation in the positively worded construct. This sentence could have been said differently in the Malaysian context. Cronbach's alpha is 0.8. Overall, the Malay version of Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale (m-RSES) is a valid and reliable tool for assessing self-esteem in the Seremban school children.
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R.M. Lerner, Foreword: Promoting Positive Youth Development Through Community and After-School Programs. Part 1. Social and Cultural Perspectives. J.L. Mahoney, R.W. Larson, J.S. Eccles, H. Lord, Organized Activities as Development Contexts for Children and Adolescents. D.A. Kleiber, G.M. Powell, Historical Change in Leisure Activities During After-School Hours. D.W. Osgood, A.L. Anderson, J.N. Shaffer, Unstructured Leisure in the After-School Hours. D.M. Casey, M.N. Ripke, A.C. Huston, Activity Participation and the Well-Being of Children and Adolescents in the Context of Welfare Reform. S. Pedersen, E. Seidman, Contexts and Correlates of Out-of-School Activity Participation Among Low-Income Urban Adolescents. F.A. Villarruel, M. Montero-Sieburth, C. Dunbar, C.W. Outley, Dorothy, There Is No Yellow Brick Road: The Paradox of Community Youth Development Approaches for Latino and African American Urban Youth. B. Kirshner, J. O'Donoghue, M. McLaughlin, Youth-Adult Research Collaboration: Bringing Youth Voice to the Research Process. Part 2. Developmental Processes and Outcomes. R. Larson, D. Hansen, K. Walker, Everybody's Gotta Give: Development of Initiative and Teamwork Within a Youth Program. B.L. Barber, M.R. Stone, J.E. Hunt, J.S. Eccles, Benefits of Activity Participation: The Roles of Identity Affirmation and Peer Group Norm Sharing. H. Stattin, M. Kerr, J. Mahoney, A. Persson, D. Magnusson, Explaining Why a Leisure Context Is Bad for Some Girls and Not for Others. J.E. Jacobs, M.K. Vernon, J.S. Eccles, Activity Choices in Middle Childhood: The Roles of Gender, Self-Beliefs, and Parents' Influence. S.A. O'Neill, Youth Music Engagement in Diverse Contexts. T.K. Scanlan, M.L. Babkes, L.A. Scanlan, Participation in Sport: A Developmental Glimpse at Emotion. J.L. Duda, N. Ntoumanis, After-School Sport for Children: Implications of a Task-Involving Motivational Climate. H. McIntosh, E. Metz, J. Youniss, Community Service and Identity Formation in Adolescents. J.S. Eccles, The Present and Future of Research on Activity Settings as Developmental Contexts. Part 3. Integrating Research, Practice, and Policy. K. Pittman, J. Tolman, N. Yohalem, Developing a Comprehensive Agenda for the Out-of-School Hours: Lessons and Challenges Across Cities. J. Walker, M. Marczak, D. Blyth, L. Borden, Designing Youth Development Programs: Toward a Theory of Developmental Intentionality. J. Rhodes, R. Spencer, Someone to Watch Over Me: Mentoring Programs in the After-School Lives of Children and Adolescents. D.L. Vandell, L. Shumow, J. Posner, After-School Programs for Low-Income Children: Differences in Program Quality. S.A. Gerstenblith, D.A. Soule, D.C. Gottfredson, S. Lu, M.A. Kellstrom, S.C. Womer, S.L. Bryner, After-School Programs, Antisocial Behavior, and Positive Youth Development: An Exploration of the Relationship Between Program Implementation and Changes in Youth Behavior. J. Quinn, Building Effective Practices and Policies for Out-of-School Time.
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This study assessed the levels and demographic correlates of adolescents' perceptions of their overall life satisfaction and satisfaction with five specific domains of their lives (i.e. family, friends, school, self, living environment). Data were collected from 5545 students in public high schools in South Carolina, USA as part of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey of the Center for Disease Control. Similar to findings in studies of adults, the results revealed that most adolescents reported positive levels of life satisfaction, both with respect to global and domain-specific life satisfaction. Global and family reports were not related to gender, race or grade level. Although not large, some race and gender effects were suggested for the other specific domains. Relative to the other satisfaction domains, these adolescents reported most dissatisfaction with their school experiences. Implications for future research, theory and practice related to adolescent well-being were discussed.