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Subjective Well-Being in School Environments: Promoting Positive Youth Development Through Evidence-Based Assessment and Intervention

Authors


concerning this article should be addressed to Jason M. Bird, Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, 1512 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29208. Electronic mail may be sent to jasonbirduscgrad@gmail.com.

Abstract

Research on subjective well-being indicates that it is associated with academic success and positive school functioning. Despite a wealth of empirical research demonstrating the benefits of interventions aimed at increasing middle and high school students’ well-being, few educational institutions have adopted evidence-based curricula that address this construct as a means of promoting future academic and social achievement. In addition, numerous studies have begun to identify several factors that contribute to well-being and thus have helped children and adolescents to be successful in both academic and social domains. These critical factors include personal goal setting, structured mentoring or life coaching, increasing gratitude, problem solving, and interpersonal skills. The present article provides a broad discussion of relevant research findings on these factors and advocates for the adoption of curricula that incorporate these components in order to ensure that best practices are utilized in the school environment and for positive youth development. Lastly, a theoretical proposal for empirically based assessment and interventions that encompass key components associated with increased child and adolescent well-being is provided.

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