Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



College students are struggling. Anxiety and depression are negatively impacting academic performance and eroding students’ social, physical and emotional well-being. In addition, counseling centers are struggling to keep up with demand. This paper considers a way to alleviate anxiety and depression on college campuses by teaching students how to reduce counterproductive thinking, develop mindfulness and realistic optimism, and enhance their coping and resilience skills. A recommendation to create an evidence-based curriculum informed by cognitive behavior therapy, positive psychology, and research on resilience is discussed. Embedding this curriculum in existing resident assistant (RA) training is suggested as a first step in a process to teach these skills to the general student body. As influential peer leaders and role models, RAs have the potential to spread their skills and knowledge to other students. A method to assess the training is provided and next steps are suggested. By teaching students to think more accurately, students might manage adversity with less stress, anxiety and depression, and thus we might begin to stem the tide of overwhelming anxiety and depression on college campuses.


college students, cognitive behavior therapy, positive psychology, resilience, optimism, pessimism, realistic optimism, thinking traps, cognitive distortions, imposter phenomenon, perfectionism, anxiety, depression.


College Student Well-Being, Student Anxiety and Depression, College Student Thriving and Resilience, Residence Life, Well-Being/Flourishing, Health/Wellness, Other Topics


Curriculum, Literature Review, Thesis, Workshop



Date Posted: 01 August 2019