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Researchers have suggested an increased focus on positive psychological interventions to enhance college students' happiness levels; however, few studies have addressed positive interventions on at-risk college students. Based on the theoretical framework of positive psychology and impact of positive exercises on happiness, this study addressed whether a positive intervention would increase happiness as evidenced by scores on the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) and the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). The experimental design included random group assignment and pre- and posttest surveys to collect data from 135 at-risk community college students in Southeast Texas. The experimental group participated in a 1-week intervention consisting of 2 gratitude exercises, and the control group completed early memory journaling. Results indicated significant differences in SWLS and PANAS scores between the two groups with an increase in life satisfaction and positive affect and a decrease in negative affect in the experimental group. Results may be used by institutions seeking positive interventions to increase at-risk college student success and retention.
Harlan, Pamela, "Effects of a Positive Psychological Intervention on Happiness in At-Risk Students" (2016). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 3033.