One of the most promising ways to increase well-being is to engage in valued and enjoyable activities. Behavioral activation (BA) an intervention approach most commonly associated with the treatment of depression is consistent with this recommendation and can easily be adapted for non-clinical populations. This study reports on a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies to examine the effect of BA on well-being. Twenty studies with a total of 1353 participants were included. The pooled effect size (Hedges's g) indicated that the difference in well-being between BA and control conditions at posttest was 0.52. This significant effect which is comparable to the pooled effect achieved by positive psychology interventions was found for non-clinical participants and participants with elevated symptoms of depression. Behavioral activation would seem to provide a ready and attractive intervention for promoting the well-being of a range of populations in both clinical and non-clinical settings.
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