Implementation of a positive psychology curriculum in a high school setting: A mixed methods pilot study

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Lauren Linford, Jeremy Bekker, John Ameen, Jared Warren


This study used a mixed-method design to examine the qualitative feasibility of a comprehensive positive psychology curriculum taught by an educator in a naturalistic high school classroom. Limited efficacy testing was also performed. Using a naturalistic quasi-experimental design, this study examined the qualitative impact and feasibility of a high school positive psychology course compared to a standard psychology course. Qualitative variables examined included student attrition, demand, implementation, and practicality as well as student feedback. Quantitative self-report measures of well-being were also included. Participants were 113 adolescents enrolled at a high school in the Mountain West United States. The course was found to have high demand and low rates of attrition. The educator noted that preparing the course was feasible and did not require external funding. Feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive with many of them noting the positive effect that it had on their well-being and ability to cope with challenges. Quantitative results were mixed. These results largely support previous research that has associated positive outcomes with the employment of positive psychology interventions in a classroom setting. Future research should focus on the quantitative effects of school-based positive psychology interventions in a larger scale, high-powered sample.

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