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Psychological well-being, characterized by feelings, cognitions, and strategies that are associated with positive functioning (including hedonic and eudaimonic well-being), has been linked with better physical health and greater longevity. Importantly, psychological well-being can be strengthened with interventions, providing a strategy for improving population health. But are the effects of well-being interventions meaningful, durable, and scalable enough to improve health at a population-level? To assess this possibility, a cross-disciplinary group of scholars convened to review current knowledge and develop a research agenda. Here we summarize and build on the key insights from this convening, which were: (1) existing interventions should continue to be adapted to achieve a large-enough effect to result in downstream improvements in psychological functioning and health, (2) research should determine the durability of interventions needed to drive population-level and lasting changes, (3) a shift from individual-level care and treatment to a public-health model of population-level prevention is needed and will require new infrastructure that can deliver interventions at scale, (4) interventions should be accessible and effective in racially, ethnically, and geographically diverse samples. A discussion examining the key future research questions follows.


This article was originally published in Affective Science in 2023.


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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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