Background: Reviews have established the efficacy of positive psychology interventions (PPIs) (Bolier et al., 2013; Hone, Jarden, & Schofield, 2015; Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009; Weiss, Westerhof, & Bohlmeijer, 2016). Yet, it is unknown whether their use can also influence variables such as educational locus of control, somatization, individualism/collectivism, fear of happiness, and stress in Arab university students. As most PPIs are Western and individualistic in nature, how they impact aspects of culture is relevant.
Method: Six PPI programs were offered to medical students at the United Arab Emirates University. About 130 students will be measured before, after, and 3 months after the program relative to a control group. Programs are 6 weeks long, 1 hour a week. Students are taught 10 PPIs overall.
Results: Results available June, 2019. Previous studies (Lambert, Passmore, Scull, Al Sabah, & Hussain, 2018; Lambert, Passmore, & Joshanloo, 2018), increased happiness and decreased negative affect. We expect changes to locus of control, reductions in somatization, fear of happiness and stress. Changes to levels of collectivism/individualism are unknown.
Conclusions: While a global positive psychology is necessary, its assumptions of beneficence should be questioned, along with the consequences of increases to wellbeing in other areas of life.