Case Articles

The Purna Health Management System (PHMS) is an integrated holistic system for health management, based on ancient Vedic philosophy and developed by Professor, Dr. Sri Svami Purna Maharaj. The current case study used an anonymous online survey to determine which aspects of the PHMS practitioners perceived as fostering wellbeing. The PHMS has four key factors: health, fitness, and nutrition (HF&N) (good food, good sleep, good exercise); life balance [stress management] (LB-SM) (good mind, good human interaction, good relationships, good deeds); spiritual growth and development (SG&D) (good meditation and contemplation); and living in harmony with the natural environment to support health (LHWNE) (good interaction with plants and animals, sustaining the environment). Relationships were tested between perceived wellbeing from key factors and years of implementation, suggested PHMS activities engaged in, and self-reported outcomes (physical health, mental/emotional health, overall stress, and ability to manage stress). Forty-one participants completed the survey. Those implementing the PHMS longer reported increased wellbeing for LB-SM (rs = .45, p< .001) and SG&D (rs = .57, p< .001). Participants eating more healthy foods in a week reported increased wellbeing for LB-SM (rs = .32, p< .05). Participants implementing more spiritual practices and practices to live in harmony with the environment in a week reported increased wellbeing for SG&D (both rs = .32, p< .05). No correlations were found between wellbeing and self-reported outcomes. Findings suggested the PHMS may support the perception of wellbeing in practitioners, especially when used regularly.

Research Articles

Self-Esteem and Optimism as Predictors of Resilience among Selected Filipino Active Duty Military Personnel in Military Camps

Marc Eric Reyes, Steffi Gabrielle O. Dillague, Maria Izabelina A. Fuentes, Crisha Ann R. Malicsi, Denise Chillian F. Manalo, Jose Mari T. Melgarejo, Ryan Francis O. Cayubit

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2020), 11 April 2020, Page 15-25

Knowing the immense physical and psychological distress that military personnel undergo, it is almost impossible not talk about its adverse psychological consequences, particularly in the context of the mental health profession. Resilience, optimism, and self-esteem are just among the many factors that frequent the discussion about the effects of adverse situations. According to Fergus and Zimmerman’s Resilience Theory (2005), individuals possess innate traits such as resilience, that allow them to withstand distress, highlighting the predictive application of self-esteem and optimism for resilience. Mental health awareness has likewise risen in the Philippines, shedding more light on mental health issues that were previously considered to be too shallow and usually dismissed. As such, utilizing a predictive non-experimental research design, this present study aimed to determine whether self-esteem and optimism can predict resilience among 360 military personnel in activity duty. Military personnel from military camps who were selected using a non-probability technique completed a test battery consisting of three scales to measure the variables: Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R), and Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). Significant results revealed that a relationship exists among the research variables and that self-esteem and optimism predicts resilience among the present study’s selected active duty military personnel in military camps

Resilience as Mediator between Extraversion, Neuroticism, and Depressive Symptoms in University Students

Siobhan McDonnell, Maria Semkovska

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2020), 11 April 2020, Page 26-40

The prevalence of depression in university students is greater than in the general population. Previous studies have demonstrated that high levels of neuroticism and low levels of extraversion are linked to depression in students, and that resilience buffers against depression, though theorists have debated conceptualizing resilience as a process or a trait. However, past research has not examined the interaction between personality and resilience on depressive symptoms, especially when controlling for stressful life events (SLEs). To investigate this, Irish university students completed online scales measuring resilience as a trait, resilience as a process, extraversion, neuroticism, recent SLEs, and depressive symptoms. Resilience, both when measured as a trait and as a process, acted as a mediator in the relationships between extraversion and depressive symptoms and between neuroticism and depressive symptoms. Participants scoring high in extraversion tended to score higher in resilience, which predicted lower depressive symptoms. Inversely, participants scoring high in neuroticism tended to have lower levels of resilience, which predicted greater depressive symptoms. Although there remained a direct effect of neuroticism on depressive symptoms, there was no longer a direct effect of extraversion on depressive symptoms after accounting for resilience. Stressful life events did not mediate the relationships between personality and depressive symptoms. These results suggest that counseling interventions promoting resilience would be more effective in people with low levels of extraversion than for individuals high in neuroticism.

The Role of Self- Compassion in College Students’ Perceived Social Support

Kelly Lavin, Marcie C. Goeke-Morey, Kathryn A. Degnan

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2020), 11 April 2020, Page 41-48

Can undergraduate students’ self-compassion, or their relationship with themselves, positively influence the degree to which they feel supported by their friends? This paper investigated how social information processing theory (SIP) may explain the relations between student’s self-compassion and perceived social support from friends. Results revealed that self-compassion impacts social information processing mechanisms and perceived social support from friends. Students with higher self-compassion are less likely to make hostile attributions, less likely to respond in aggressive ways, and more likely to respond in socially appropriate ways, which, in turn, was related to greater perceived support from friends.

An Application of the Dual-Factor Model of Mental Health in Elementary School Children: Examining Academic Engagement and Social Outcomes

Nicholas David Smith, Shannon Suldo, Brittany Hearon, John Ferron

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2020), 11 April 2020, Page 49-68

Conceptualizations of mental health have increasingly emphasized the presence of subjective well-being (SWB), rather than assessing internalizing and externalizing behaviors (IEB) and disorders in isolation. This cross-sectional study examined the mental health of 178 American elementary school students through this dual-factor lens. Approximately 54% of child participants (Grades 4 and 5) met sample-specific criteria for Complete Mental Health (high SWB and low IEB), 18.5% met criteria for Symptomatic But Content (high SWB, elevated IEB), 18.5% met criteria for Vulnerable (low SWB, low IEB), and 9% met criteria for Troubled (low SWB, elevated IEB). Students in the Symptomatic But Content group had fewer internalizing behaviors than the Troubled group. Associations between mental health group status and social and academic outcomes varied by teacher and student ratings. On student-reported outcomes, mental health groups with high SWB had greater perceptions of social support and academic engagement in the classroom, consistent with findings from other studies documenting advantages of SWB above and beyond low IEB (Complete Mental Health vs. Vulnerable) or when elevated IEB is present (Symptomatic But Content vs. Troubled).  In contrast, teacher perceptions of students’ engagement in the classroom and social relationships were more closely negatively associated with IEB. When SWB was examined as a continuous variable, regression analyses indicated positive, additive effect of SWB on all indicators of engagement- including teacher report measures.

Psychometric Analysis of Inflexibility of Happiness in Undergraduate Students: A Reliability and Validity Study

Hacer Belen, Murat Yildirim

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2020), 11 April 2020, Page 69-78

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the factor structure, measurement invariance, criterion-related validity, and incremental validity of the Inflexibility of Happiness Scale (IHS) in a sample of 432 undergraduate students from Turkey. To test the factor structure, the sample was split into two subsamples. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted in the first subsample and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was next conducted in the second subsample. The results of EFA and CFA yielded a single factor structure and measurement invariance across gender was successfully established. In terms of reliability, internal consistency reliability was satisfactory for the IHS. Evidence of criterion-related validity showed that the IHS was positively related to the externality of happiness and negative affect and was negatively related to personality traits and dimensions of psychological well-being. Concerning incremental validity, the results indicated that inflexibility of happiness accounted for a significant amount of variance in predicting domains of psychological wellbeing - purpose in life, personal growth and positive relations over and above the personality traits. Collectively, these results suggest that the IHS is a reliable and valid instrument to measure the inflexibility of happiness beliefs among undergraduate students from Turkey.

Review Articles

Activities for Flourishing: An Evidence-Based Guide

Tyler J VanderWeele

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 4 No. 1 (2020), 11 April 2020, Page 79-91

The paper reviews various evidence-based activities that can be easily employed to promote human flourishing. The evidence from numerous randomized trials has now established a number of do-it-yourself activities that can be used to improve various aspects of well-being. Moreover, various relational and institutional commitments can be voluntarily pursued which likewise have been shown to have substantial effects on well-being. Each of these activities or commitments in some way involves an orientation to the good. The present paper reviews the nature of, and evidence for, various cognitive and behavioral activities and interventions, various relational and institutional commitments, and also various workbook interventions that have been shown to promote well-being. This is important for its own sake. It is also important in thinking about the tracking and measurement of well-being. Concerns are sometimes raised about the measurement of well-being that, if it is to be routinely assessed, then there is an accompanying responsibility to be able to offer support to those with low well-being measurements.  This present guide to flourishing activities helps, at least partially, to address concerns about being able to support those with lower well-being levels if well-being assessment were to become routine.