We are grateful to Robert Rosenthal and Robin DiMatteo for their statistical advice.
Enhancing well-being and alleviating depressive symptoms with positive psychology interventions: a practice-friendly meta-analysis†
Article first published online: 19 MAR 2009
© 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume 65, Issue 5, pages 467–487, May 2009
How to Cite
Sin, N. L. and Lyubomirsky, S. (2009), Enhancing well-being and alleviating depressive symptoms with positive psychology interventions: a practice-friendly meta-analysis. J. Clin. Psychol., 65: 467–487. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20593
- Issue published online: 1 APR 2009
- Article first published online: 19 MAR 2009
- positive psychology;
Do positive psychology interventions—that is, treatment methods or intentional activities aimed at cultivating positive feelings, positive behaviors, or positive cognitions—enhance well-being and ameliorate depressive symptoms? A meta-analysis of 51 such interventions with 4,266 individuals was conducted to address this question and to provide practical guidance to clinicians. The results revealed that positive psychology interventions do indeed significantly enhance well-being (mean r=.29) and decrease depressive symptoms (mean r=.31). In addition, several factors were found to impact the effectiveness of positive psychology interventions, including the depression status, self-selection, and age of participants, as well as the format and duration of the interventions. Accordingly, clinicians should be encouraged to incorporate positive psychology techniques into their clinical work, particularly for treating clients who are depressed, relatively older, or highly motivated to improve. Our findings also suggest that clinicians would do well to deliver positive psychology interventions as individual (versus group) therapy and for relatively longer periods of time. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol: In Session 65: 1–21, 2009.