Interventions to modify psychological well-being: Progress, promises, and an agenda for future research

Laura D. Kubzansky, Eric S. Kim*, Julia K. Boehm, Richard J. Davidson, Jeffrey C. Huffman, Eric B. Loucks, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Rosalind W. Picard, Stephen M. Schueller, Claudia Trudel-Fitzgerald, Tyler J. VanderWeele, Katey Warran, David S. Yeager, Charlotte S. Yeh, Judith T. Moskowitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-184
Number of pages11
JournalAffective Science
Early online date3 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • psychological well-being
  • positive psychology
  • health


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