Oral Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Promoting Students’ Subjective Well-Being in Comprehensive School-Based Mental Health Services (#18)

Shannon M Suldo 1
  1. University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, United States

Studies describing the mental health of children, adolescents, and young adults demonstrate the importance of considering both psychopathology and subjective well-being, consistent with a dual-factor model of mental health (Suldo & Shaffer, 2008; Suldo, Thalji-Raitano, Kiefer, & Ferron, 2016). Students with a “complete mental health” status—defined by few symptoms of psychopathology (internalizing or externalizing problems) coupled with elevated levels of subjective well-being (life satisfaction and frequent positive affect)—have the best academic, social, identity development, and physical health outcomes. Multi-tiered frameworks for providing prevention and early intervention mental health services are grounded in the premise that well-positioned supports address the targets that ultimately relate to subjective well-being and psychopathology. This presentation will (a) summarize these empirically identified targets of youth subjective well-being, including protective and resilience factors within students (e.g., gratitude, hope and optimism, self-efficacy) and their environments (e.g., relationships with parents, peers, and teachers; school climate), (b) describe systematic ways to monitor students’ subjective well-being in line with data-based decision-making (Wingate, Suldo, & Peterson, 2018), and (c) situate universal and selective supports intended to increase subjective well-being within a multi-tiered framework of mental health services that has historically emphasized assessment and treatment of psychopathology (Suldo, 2016).

  1. Suldo, S. M. (2016). Promoting student happiness: Positive psychology interventions in schools. Guilford Practical Intervention in the Schools Series. New York: Guilford.
  2. Suldo, S. M. & Shaffer, E. J. (2008). Looking beyond psychopathology: The dual-factor model of mental health in youth. School Psychology Review, 37 (1), 52 - 68.
  3. Suldo, S. M., Thalji-Raitano, A., Kiefer, S. M., & Ferron, J. M. (2016). Conceptualizing high school students’ mental health through a dual-factor model. School Psychology Review, 45(4), 434-457. doi: 10.17105/SPR45-4.434-457
  4. Wingate, E. J., Suldo, S. M., & Peterson, R. K. S. (2018). Monitoring and fostering elementary school students' life satisfaction: A case study. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 34 (2), 180-200. doi: 10.1080/15377903.2017.1403399