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The effect of positive psychology interventions on hope and well-being of adolescents living in a child and youth care centre

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Abstract

This study evaluated the effect of positive psychology interventions (PPIs) on hope and well-being among adolescents living in a child and youth care centre (CYCC) in South Africa. Adolescents (n = 29) were allocated to either the experimental or control group through matched sampling. The experimental group engaged in one-hour intervention sessions weekly for six weeks. Measures of well-being and hope were recorded at three time intervals. Independent- and paired-sample t-tests were conducted to establish group differences. There were no statistically significant differences in well-being and hope between the two groups after the interventions. We discuss moderating factors and offer a qualitative reflection to better understand these outcomes. With this understanding, preliminary guidelines are proposed for implementing PPIs in CYCCs.

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... The items most commonly rated as unclear were adequate data collected to answer the research questions, assessor blinding, and adequate derivation of qualitative findings from the data (Fig. 2). Studies rated as lower quality (Aubuchon-Endsley & Callahan, 2014;Gillig et al., 2019;Isa et al., 2018;Lin et al., 2013;Saelid & Nordahl, 2017;Smith et al., 2011;Teodorczuk et al., 2019) did not appear markedly different in reported interventional effects on hopefulness but reported larger effects on depression. Qualitative studies of lower quality (Anttila et al., 2015;Midgley et al., 2016;Watsford et al., 2013) were those which largely focused on hopes for therapy. ...
... Online Appendix E), ranging from cognitive and/or behavioral-based therapies Gee et al., 2018;Isa et al., 2018;Lin et al., 2013Lin et al., , 2014Metsäranta et al., 2019;Ritschel et al., 2011Ritschel et al., , 2016Saelid & Nordahl, 2017;Shepherd et al., 2018) to other talking (Conklin, 2009;Green et al., 2007;Leibovich et al., 2020;Teodorczuk et al., 2019), arts (Walsh & Minor-Schork, 1997) or activity-based (Gabrielsen et al., 2019;Gillig et al., 2019;Hambridge, 2017;Smith et al., 2011) interventions. Interventions were variable with respect to duration and number of sessions (Online Appendix E). ...
... Most interventions were provided in mental health service settings-of which all but one (Walsh & Minor-Schork, 1997) were outpatient-or an educational setting, with two provided in residential care and two in a community nature-based setting (Table 1). Most studies involved community samples (Conklin, 2009;Gillig et al., 2019;Green et al., 2007;Lin et al., 2013Lin et al., , 2014Saelid & Nordahl, 2017;Shepherd et al., 2018;Smith et al., 2011;Teodorczuk et al., 2019), others involved clinical Gabrielsen et al., 2019;Isa et al., 2018;Metsäranta (Gee et al., 2018;Ritschel et al., 2011Ritschel et al., , 2016. There was an equivalent mixture of individual and group interventions (Online Appendix E). ...
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Hopefulness is arguably of central importance to the recovery of youth with major or complex youth depression, yet it is unclear how hopefulness can best be enhanced in treatment. A narrative synthesis of published and grey literature was combined with new insights from a youth lived-experience panel (N = 15), focusing on to what extent and how specific psychological therapies and standard mental health care scaffold hopefulness as applied to depression among 14–25-year-olds. Thirty-one studies of variable quality were included in this review; thirteen were qualitative, thirteen quantitative, and five used mixed methods. Hopefulness is an important active ingredient of psychotherapies and standard mental health care in youth depression. Evidence suggests talking and activity therapies have moderate to large effects on hopefulness and that hopefulness can be enhanced in standard mental health care. However, varying intervention effects suggest a marked degree of uncertainty. Hopefulness is best scaffolded by a positive relational environment in which there is support for identifying and pursuing personally valued goals and engaging in meaningful activity. Animated (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4690PdTGec) and graphical summaries (https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.27024.84487) are available.
... Some studies also reported a decrease in symptoms of distress, including depression, anxiety, anger, and externalizing behaviour. Four studies failed to find increases in well-being, but only two were published in peer-reviewed journals (Baranov, Haushofer, & Jang, 2020;Teodorczuk et al., 2019). In sum, most of the PPIs reported in this review did enhance well-being. ...
Chapter
Research on positive psychology interventions (PPIs) are expanding, also in non-Western contexts. This study examined literature on PPIs in African countries through a scoping review. Databases were searched for studies implemented between 2006 and 2019. The bibliographic search used a broad and inclusive definition of PPIs and yielded 23 studies for analysis. The results indicated that the majority of studies were implemented in group settings among adults in South Africa, using quantitative research designs. However, research elsewhere on the continent is starting to emerge. There is a need for more research among youth, older persons and clinical populations. Future studies should also focus on cultural adaptation of existing PPIs, and take cultural practices and traditions into account.
... Students in their adolescence tend to need self-recognition [33,138]. A series of social activities and roles are played by students to attract the attention of the surrounding environment [139]. This concept underlies that recognition and attention factors are priorities that must be met so that self-acceptance factors are ignored [140]. ...
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The purpose of this study was to analyze the model of the influence of family social support, gratitude, and self-acceptance on subjective well-being in student in Islamic boarding schools. The population in this study was all student of class VII in boarding school X and boarding school Y in Yogyakarta, with a total of 430 students. The sample in this study was 150 students. The sampling technique used for this study was cluster random sampling. The data were collected by using several instruments in the form of scales. The scales consisted of family social support scale, gratitude scale, self-acceptance scale, and subjective well-being scale. Data analysis was performed by testing the outer model and the inner model. The data were analyzed using structural equation model (SEM) through the Smart Partial Least Square 3.2.8 program. The results of this study suggested that the formation of a model of the influence of family social support, gratitude, and self-acceptance on subjective well-being fits with empirical data obtained. In other words, there was a significant positive correlation between all variables being studied and subjective well-being. The theoretical model formed in this study was considered fit, so it can be used as a valid model reference in investigating adolescents' subjective well-being.
... An effective mechanism in the programme that may have contributed to participants' positive experience of the ILP was the group-based delivery approach, which allowed participants to share their experiences with other group members through interactive discussions and activities. Group interactions, made possible by the collective attendance and participation in session discussions and activities, are important vehicles for initiating and maintaining positive experiences, which can have a positive influence on overall well-being (Borek & Abraham, 2018;Teodorczuk et al., 2019). As observed from the findings, the breakout sessions, where participants paired up to further deliberate on the issues under discussion and for practising skills, created avenues for participants to learn from each other and to recognise and verbalise their feelings. ...
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Introduction: There is growing evidence that group-based mental health intervention programmes can encourage the development of peer support, psychosocial skills, and collaborative therapeutic relationships with longer lasting effects. This study explored participants’ experiences of, perceived benefits of, and recommendations to improve a 10-session group-based multicomponent positive psychology intervention (mPPI)—the Inspired Life Programme (ILP)—designed to promote positive mental health and reduce symptoms of depression and negative affect in a sample of rural Ghanaian adults. Method: Face-to-face semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with 18 randomly selected programme participants three months after their participation in the ILP. Data were analysed thematically with an inductive approach. Results: Participants described their experience of the ILP as a forum for growth that granted them the opportunity to introspect, practicalise and situate everyday life challenges, connect with others, and to develop a sense of mutual accountability. Results indicate that the ILP led participants to develop a stronger sense of positivity and well-being, fructify their ideas, and to cultivate stronger social networks and relationships that led to increased vocational productiveness. Participants recommended that researchers include facets of physical health promotion in the programme and invite close relations of participants to participate in the programme. Conclusion: This study provides the first insight into participants’ experiences of a group-based mPPI in Ghana. These findings may provide useful information to inform the design of context-appropriate community-based mental health interventions to fit participants’ specific needs, capacities, and circumstances.
... The selected measures have shown promise in previous African studies (e.g. Bonthuys et al., 2011;Rugira et al., 2015;Teodorczuk et al., 2019;Van Zyl & Rothmann, 2012), are all relatively short, and together assess facets relevant to the evaluation of well-being in the African context. ...
Article
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Planning for accommodated children may often be built around ensuring a secure home. However, it is also important to attend to other domains in children's lives. The promotion of the long-term emotional well-being of children has to be based on information about the factors associated with better outcomes. The findings from research into factors related to resilience in children provide many useful pointers for such practice. Brigid Daniel, Sally Wassell and Robbie Gilligan describe a pilot project aimed at exploring the feasibility of putting ideas from the concept of resilience into action. Through a series of workshops with child care practitioners the domains of secure base, education, friendship, talents and interests, positive values and social competencies were considered. Ideas for mapping levels of current resilience were discussed, as well as suggestions for practice aimed at its promotion.
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This preliminary research study examined the impact of Strengths Gym, a character strengths-based positive psychological intervention program, on adolescent life satisfaction. Using a quasi-experimental treatment-control condition design, the study compared student outcomes for life satisfaction, positive and negative affect, and self-esteem for 319 adolescent students aged 12–14 (M = 12.98): 218 adolescent students who participated in character strengths-based exercises in the school curriculum, and 101 adolescent students who did not participate in character strengths-based exercises in the school curriculum. Results revealed that adolescents who participated in character strengths-based exercises experienced significantly increased life satisfaction compared to adolescents who did not participate in character strengths-based exercises. Overall, results provide encouraging preliminary support for the application of character strengths-based exercises in the school curriculum as a means of increasing life satisfaction and well-being among youths.
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Although the last decade has witnessed mounting research on the development and evaluation of positive interventions, investigators still know little about the target population of such interventions: happiness seekers. The present research asked three questions about happiness seekers: (1) What are their general characteristics?, (2) What do they purposefully do to become happier?, and (3) How do they make use of self-help resources? In Study 1, we identified two distinct clusters of online happiness seekers. In Study 2, we asked happiness seekers to report on their use of 14 types of happiness-seeking behaviors. In Study 3, we tracked happiness seekers' usage of an iPhone application that offered access to eight different happiness-increasing activities, and assessed their resulting happiness and mood improvements. Together, these studies provide a preliminary portrait of happiness seekers' characteristics and naturalistic behaviors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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The happiness that comes from a particular success or change in fortune abates with time. The Hedonic Adaptation Prevention (HAP) model specifies two routes by which the well-being gains derived from a positive life change are eroded--the first involving bottom-up processes (i.e., declining positive emotions generated by the positive change) and the second involving top-down processes (i.e., increased aspirations for even more positivity). The model also specifies two moderators that can forestall these processes--continued appreciation of the original life change and continued variety in change-related experiences. The authors formally tested the predictions of the HAP model in a 3-month three-wave longitudinal study of 481 students. Temporal path analyses and moderated regression analyses provided good support for the model. Implications for the stability of well-being, the feasibility of "the pursuit of happiness," and the appeal of overconsumption are discussed.
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We investigated the relationship between various character strengths and life satisfaction among 5,299 adults from three Internet samples using the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths. Consistently and robustly associated with life satisfaction were hope, zest, gratitude, love, and curiosity. Only weakly associated with life satisfaction, in contrast, were modesty and the intellectual strengths of appreciation of beauty, creativity, judgment, and love of learning. In general, the relationship between character strengths and life satisfaction was monotonic, indicating that excess on any one character strength does not diminish life satisfaction.
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The major goals of this study were to (a) investigate the relationships among adolescent students' levels of hope and various academic and psychological indicators of school adjustment, and (b) determine critical levels of hope associated with these indicators. Using the Children's Hope Scale (Snyder, Hoza et al., 1997), results from a hierarchical cluster analysis placed youth into a low, average, and high hope group. Youth in the high hope group differed from students with low hope on all independent measures. Further, youth reporting high hope also differed from students reporting average levels of hope on personal adjustment, global life satisfaction, and self-reported grade point average. Implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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Assessment of children referred to and receiving special education services is based on a deficit model. Recently, questions about a deficit-driven assessment model have led to calls for alternative approaches. A strength-based approach to assessment focuses on the strengths, resources, and competencies of a child and family. The purpose of this article is twofold: (a) to provide an overview of strength-based assessment and (b) to discuss the development and psychometric characteristics of the Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale (BERS). The BERS is a norm-referenced, standardized test that assesses the strengths of children and adolescents.
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Looked after children are disadvantaged with regard to their mental and physical health and education. Research is limited on this population, but dramatic findings prompted the Government to produce a number of guidance and policy documents over the past 5 years. This paper discusses the available research and highlights the problems that looked after children face. The new policy initiatives are listed, along with a number of obstacles to be overcome if the care of these young people is to be improved.
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The aim of this study was to explore hope and psychosocial well-being among South African adolescents (N = 1169; males = 573, females = 596, mean age = 15.1) from different socioeconomic contexts. Data was collected by means of convenience sampling using questionnaires to measure hope and psychosocial well-being, and a biographical questionnaire to determine socio-economic status. Data analysis consisted of descriptive statistics, ANOVAs, correlations and a moderated multiple regression. The findings indicate that adolescents across different population groups experienced relatively high levels of hope. Black adolescents experienced higher psychosocial well-being in comparison to White adolescents regardless of socio-economic status. Hope is an important psychological strength related to optimal mental health in youth
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Character is vital force for positive development and societal well-being. Character strengths play important roles in positive youth development, not only as broad-protective factors, preventing or mitigating psychopathology and problems, but also as enabling conditions that promote thriving and flourishing. Recent research findings show that character strengths are related to academic success, life satisfaction, and well-being for children and youth. These findings have four significant implications for educators, parents, mental health professionals, and policy makers who concern themselves with promoting positive youth development. First, schools and youth programs should start to measure children's assets, such as character strengths, as much as deficits. Second, educators and policy makers concerned with educating happy, healthy, and successful children and youth will want to pay explicit attention to character strengths. Third, the Values in Action (VIA) classification of strengths provides a vocabulary for people to talk about character strengths in an appropriately sophisticated way. Fourth, given the importance of character to the psychological good life, questions arise about how good character might be cultivated. (Contains 1 table.)
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Children and adolescents' subjective well-being (SWB) has been recognized as an important component in understanding their quality of life. However, little is known about differences in the SWB of children from different groups, particularly those who are living in diverse households. The purpose of this study is to explore differences in SWB between young adolescents in care and in two other living arrangements. The study used data from a large representative sample of Spanish 1st year students in the second compulsory education (mean age = 12.08, SD = 0.68). 5381 adolescents were divided into three groups according to their living arrangements: ‘living in care’ (0.9%), ‘living in single parent families’ (18.7%) and ‘living in two-parent families’ (80.4%). Self-administered reports were used to measure SWB in five life domains: school, social relationships, leisure time, health, and oneself. Overall life satisfaction was also measured. Background characteristics were obtained mainly in relation to stability in the adolescents' lives in the past year. Adolescents living with two parents reported better SWB in all life domains than those in the other two groups. Differences between adolescents living with one parent and adolescents living in care were mostly found in relation to interpersonal relationships and health. Furthermore, it was found that adolescents living in care have the least stable lives, followed by adolescents living with one parent, while adolescents living with two parents lead much more stable lives. These findings highlight the need to address the SWB of vulnerable children, particularly those living in care. Results are discussed in view of the value of stability to children's lives.
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The pursuit of happiness is an important goal for many people. However, surprisingly little scientific research has focused on the question of how happiness can be increased and then sustained, probably because of pessimism engendered by the concepts of genetic determinism and hedonic adaptation. Nevertheless, emerging sources of optimism exist regarding the possibility of permanent increases in happiness. Drawing on the past well-being literature, the authors propose that a person's chronic happiness level is governed by 3 major factors: a genetically determined set point for happiness, happiness-relevant circumstantial factors, and happiness-relevant activities and practices. The authors then consider adaptation and dynamic processes to show why the activity category offers the best opportunities for sustainably increasing happiness. Finally, existing research is discussed in support of the model, including 2 preliminary happiness-increasing interventions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The tenets of a cognitive, motivational model called hope theory (Snyder et al., 1991) are reviewed, along with the two accompanying instruments for measuring hope in children and adolescents. More than a decade of research on hope theory as it relates to students, teachers, and schools is summarized. Likewise, the applications of hope theory for school psychologists are reviewed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Introduction There has been a large amount of research on the contributions of childhood and familial factors to the development of psychopathology in children and young people (for reviews see, e.g., Farrington et al., 1990; Hawkins, Catalano, & Miller, 1992; Loeber, 1990; Patterson, DeBaryshe, & Ramsey, 1989; Rutter & Giller, 1983). This research has established that young people reared in disadvantaged, dysfunctional, or impaired home environments have increased risks of a wide range of adverse outcomes that span mental health problems, criminality, substance abuse, suicidal behaviors, and educational underachievement. Although popular and policy concerns have often focused on the role of specific factors such as child abuse, poverty, single parenthood, family violence, parental divorce, and the like, the weight of the evidence suggests that the effects of specific risk factors in isolation on later outcomes often tend to be modest (Fergusson, Horwood, & Lynskey, 1994; Garmezy, 1987; Rutter, 1979; Sameroff, Seifer, Barocas, Zax, & Greenspan, 1987). What distinguishes the high-risk child from other children is not so much exposure to a specific risk factor but rather a life history characterized by multiple familial disadvantages that span social and economic disadvantages; impaired parenting; a neglectful and abusive home environment; marital conflict; family instability; family violence; and high exposure to adverse family life events (Blanz, Schmidt, & Esser, 1991; Fergusson et al., 1994; Masten, Morison, Pellegrini, & Tellegen, 1990; Sameroff & Seifer, 1990; Shaw & Emery, 1988; Shaw, Vondra, Hommerding, Keenan, & Dunn, 1994).
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Estimates of developmental delay in children in out-of-home foster care range from 13–62%. Overlooked in these studies are comparisons of developmental delay differentiated by a child's initial placement type (i.e., biological parent, kinship care, or nonrelative foster care) following evaluation for possible abuse and/or neglect. The developmental status of children residing in these different placement types warrants further scrutiny by clinicians and policy makers, especially due to the recent trend towards family preservation efforts and the growing use of kinship care. Data were collected on 798 children, ages 3–36 months, who were admitted to San Diego's sole emergency shelter/receiving facility from April 1, 1998 through June 30, 1999 for investigation of alleged maltreatment. Children admitted received a physical exam and developmental screening using the Denver Developmental Screening Test (Denver-II). Sixty two percent of children (491) scored “suspect” on the Denver Developmental Screening Test II (Denver-II). Of these children, 73% received a developmental evaluation using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II (Bayley-II). Over 34% of these children evaluated scored more than 2 standard deviations below the mean on at least one component of the Bayley-II regardless of placement type. Although children with “suspect” scores on the Denver-II were more likely to be placed in nonrelative foster care (p < .013), there was no difference between placement types for children with delay on the Bayley-II. Results for children released to their biological parent(s) should be viewed as preliminary, because these children were less likely to receive an evaluation compared to other children. However, results suggest that young children placed in kinship care are as likely to be developmentally delayed, based on the Bayley-II, as those children placed in nonrelative foster care. Given concerns in the literature that children in kinship care receive fewer services than children in nonrelative foster care, this finding bears further investigation. ©2002 Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health.
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We explore the role of meditative practice in cultivating experiences of compassion, empathy, and altruism and address an apparent paradox: Meditation often is associated with solitary retreat, if not preoccupation with one's own concerns. How, then, does such a practice promote compassion for others? We propose a two-stage model. The first stage involves disengagement from usual preoccupation with self-reinforcing, self-defeating, or self-indulgent behaviors and reactions; the second involves a focused engagement with a universal human capacity for altruistic experience, love, and compassion. Reference is made to the limited research literature and to clinical applications of loving kindness (metta) meditation in cultivating these processes.
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We report findings from an initial empirical test of a hope-based, group therapy protocol. In this context, hope is defined as a cognitive process through which individuals pursue their goals [Snyder, C. R.: 1994, Free Press, New York]. As such, the eight-session group treatment emphasized building goal-pursuit skills. Findings from a randomized, wait-list control trial using a community sample (n=32 completers) are reported. Participants underwent structured diagnostic interviews (SCID-I) and completed assessment packets. Post-participation assessment results indicate the intervention was associated with statistically significant (p<0.05) improvements in the agency component of hope, life meaning, and self-esteem as well as reductions in symptoms of depression and anxiety. These results suggest that a brief hope intervention can increase some psychological strengths and reduce some symptoms of psychopathology.
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This study will investigate how the frequent school and home mobility of foster children affects their overall academic achievement in school. It will attempt to answer the following questions:1.How is School Achievement affected by the Mobility of Foster Children?2.What can society, as well as state and federal governments do to establish long-term consistent care that will ensure long-term success and achievement of all foster care children?3.What can school and welfare agencies do to help improve the academic achievement of foster care children? Foster children are subjected to many obstacles during their education in public schools. Most of these children move from school to school because they frequently change foster homes.Since improved academic achievement in school is important to all foster children, this study examines the dilemma of the foster care child in the classroom. Furthermore, this study examines the academic performance of children in foster care and describes what the research believes can be done to solve this problem and improve the chances for the foster child's academic success.