Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

8-1-2021

Abstract

Reports indicate that a mental health crisis of epidemic proportions continues to grow within the US college student population. More than twenty five percent of today’s US college students struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues (Eisenberg & Ketchen Lipson, 2019). The COVID-19 pandemic changed life on college campuses for the entire 2020-2021 academic year. To date, little is known about the impact of COVID-19 on the average US college student’s experience and well-being. The following exploratory study seeks to understand the impact of COVID-19 on US college students, identify what tools and resources are accessible to them through their colleges, and discover what additional support they would utilize if accessible. This study begins with a literature review focused on the field of positive psychology, including an overview of its principal goals and methodology. The study then moves to analysis of a self- report survey of 124 US college students using descriptive statistics and qualitative analysis. The qualitative and quantitative analyses are supported with professor and student feedback. Finally, this study takes a closer look at the state of well-being curriculum in US colleges today. Drawing on prior research in positive psychology and the results of the self-report survey of US college students, this study highlights the promising role of a positive psychology course (Russo-Netzer, & Ben-Shahar, 2011) as a potential solution to improve student well-being. A semester long course curriculum is proposed for US colleges to adopt in their pursuit toward helping students thrive.

Keywords

college, COVID-19, positive psychology, curriculum, student, well-being, university

Topic

College Student Well-Being

Format

Curriculum

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Date Posted: 11 August 2021