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Character strength-based interventions are an effective positive psychology approach in increasing happiness and reducing depression. However, little is known about whether the character strength-based interventions remain effective over an extended time period of 1 year, and why these activities (e.g., Identifying signature strengths and Using signature strengths in a new way) work. To address these issues, a 1-year randomized controlled intervention was conducted to examine the serial mediating role of strengths knowledge and strengths use. A hundred first-year students were randomly assigned into the intervention and the waiting-list control groups. The intervention group participated in four activities within a 90-min course and was encouraged to continue self-practice of the strengths-related activities after the intervention period. Immediate, short-term (i.e., 1 week), and long-term (i.e., 1 year) effectiveness were examined. Participants in the intervention group showed significant increase in thriving and decrease in negative emotional symptoms in the short term, but no effect was found for the control group. The long-term effects of thriving and negative emotional symptoms were insignificant for two experimental groups. Strengths use partially mediated the effectiveness of the intervention, but strengths knowledge did not significantly predict the outcomes. In conclusion, the character strength-based intervention can be an effective approach to improve the mental health of the first-year students. More attention should be paid to strengths use when practitioners design a character strength-based intervention.
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- Examining the Mediating Roles of Strengths Knowledge and Strengths Use in a 1-Year Single-Session Character Strength-Based Cognitive Intervention
- Springer Netherlands
Journal of Happiness Studies
An Interdisciplinary Forum on Subjective Well-Being
Print ISSN: 1389-4978
Elektronische ISSN: 1573-7780
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