Poster Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Positive Health Strengths-Based Approaches To Help Adolescents In Hospitals And Schools, Parents, Teachers And Healthcare Professionals Flourish In Spite Of Emotional, Physical And Social Challenges. (#535)

Lisa Buksbaum 1 , Peggy Kern 2 , Pamela Nunez del Prado Chaves 3 4 5 , Karen Garman 6 , Ryan Niemiec 7
  1. CEO & Founder, Soaringwords, Soaringwords, New York, United States
  2. Senior Lecturer, Centre for Positive Psychology , University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education, Melbourne, Australia
  3. Director of the Positive Psychology Research Group, Faculty of Psychology, Pontificia Universidad Católica , Peru
  4. Professor, Faculty of Education, In charge of the following courses: Human Development; Cognitive Processes and, Affective and Social Processes, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Peru
  5. Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Research and Advanced Statistics; Positive Psychology and Thesis Seminar, Pontificia Universidad Católica , Peru
  6. Director, Education and Engagement , Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine, San Diego, California, United States
  7. Education Director , VIA Institute on Character , Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Research and practice in positive psychology have developed numerous interventions, programs, curricula, and approaches to help young people feel good and function well in healthcare and educational settings. But what happens when adolescents do not feel well? Long-term physical and mental illness and struggles to connect with peers create very real barriers that many young people face. 

Strength-based approaches don’t try to “fix” people, but rather draw out the good already within and around each person. But what does this look like in practice, for those that struggle?

This Roundtable explores strength-based interventions for promoting thriving despite physical, mental, social challenges. Soaringwords’ SOARING into Strength program incorporates various interventions with adolescents with chronic, or serious illness; studies suggest that interventions impact how patients, parents, and healthcare workers function and feel. The Strengths Based Parenting Program (Waters, 2015) resulted in significant increases in strength-based parenting, self-compassion, resilience, and wellbeing for parents of hospitalized children. A research review on school belonging points to actionable ways educators, parents, school leaders can help create a sense of connection, despite challenges. VIA Character Strengths inventory/classification advances the latest science and practical applications on character strengths, the foundation of many of the most successful positive interventions.