Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version




Depression is the leading cause of illness and disability in adolescents worldwide. Resilience training, founded on principles of positive psychology, is correlated with lower depression and substance misuse in U.S. adolescents and military personnel. However, resilience training has focused primarily on secular interventions using western material. Religion is strongly correlated with lower depression and also with well-being in developing countries. Ninety percent of adolescents live in developing countries, and at least two-thirds are oral learners who prefer learning through stories and drama. This paper proposes a Bible story based curriculum that trains students in problem solving skills, character strengths, and both spiritual and secular research-tested principles for resilience and well-being. The Bible is available by audio recording in 751 languages and offers a broad base of archetypal stories for teaching resilience. The program is easily reproducible, culturally adaptable, respectful of all religions, and specifically crafted for oral learners. Through audio recordings to maintain fidelity, train the trainer programs for dissemination and support of national and community leaders, the proposed curriculum for Global Resilience Oral Workshops (GROW) has potential to lower depression and lift well-being in adolescents around the world.

An updated curriculum and positive research findings from a pilot study conducted in Zambia may be found at

See four minute training video


Key words: resilience, religion, storytelling, character strengths, depression, adolescents, well-being, storytelling, GROW, global, oral, workshops, spirituality



Date Posted: 04 August 2014

This document has been peer reviewed.