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.
Kubzansky, L. D., Kim, E. S., Boehm, J. K., Davidson, R. J., Huffman, J. C., Loucks, E. B., Lyubomirsky, S., Picard, R. W., Schueller, S. M., Trudel-Fitzgerald, C., VanderWeele, T. J., Warran, K., Yeager, D. S., Yeh, C. S., & Moskowitz, J. T. (2023). Interventions to modify psychological well-being: Progress, promises, and an agenda for future research. Affective Science, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42761-022-00167-w
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