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Improving psychological well-being in schools. A new preventive strategy

27.11.2006
Psychological well-being has been found as a source of resilience against stress and falling ill.

A new strategy (Well-Being Therapy) developed by a group of investigators of the University of Bologna, headed by Drs Ruini and Fava, may be successfull in increasing psychological well-being in the school, as reported in the November issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.

This study wants to apply and test the efficacy of a school-based intervention protocol derived from well-being therapy (WBT) compared to cognitive-behavioral strategies, which have been used also in school setting for treating anxiety, depression and for developing more adaptive coping skills.

School interventions were performed in a population of 111 middle school students randomly assigned to: (a) a protocol using theories and techniques derived from cognitive-behavioral therapy (4 weeklysessions); (b) a protocol derived from WBT(4 weekly sessions). Assessment before and after interventions was performed using two self-rating scales for measuring both levels of distress and of psychological well-being: Kellner's Symptom Questionnaire and Ryff's Psychological Well-Being Scales.

Both school-based interventions resulted in a comparable improvement in symptoms and psychological well-being. These results show that a new strategy based on the promotion of well-being and optimal functioning is effective also in decreasing symptoms. Moreover, students and teachers were very interested in this new intervention and reported an high satisfaction. This new well-being-enhancing strategy could play an important role in the prevention of psychological distress in school settings and in promoting optimal human functioning among children.

Giovanni A. Fava, M.D. | alfa
Further information:
http://www.karger.com

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