In search of durable positive psychology interventions: Predictors and consequences of long-term positive behavior change

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In search of durable positive psychology interventions: Predictors and consequences of long-term positive behavior change

A number of positive psychology interventions have successfully helped people learn skills for improving mood and building personal resources (e.g. psychological resilience and social support). However little is known about whether intervention activities remain effective in the long term or whether new resources are maintained after the intervention ends. We address these issues in a 15-month follow-up survey of participants from a lovingkindness meditation intervention. Many participants continued to practice meditation and they reported more positive emotions (PEs) than those who had stopped meditating or had never meditated. All participants maintained gains in resources made during the initial intervention whether or not they continued meditating. Continuing meditators did not differ on resources at baseline but they did show more PE and a more rapid PE response to the intervention. Overall our results suggest that positive psychology interventions are not just efficacious but of significant value in participants’ real lives.

Publisher: 
The Journal of Positive Psychology Vol. 5, No. 5, September 2010, 355–366

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