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Positive psychology interventions in people aged 50–79 years: long-term effects of placebo-controlled online interventions on well-being and depression


Proyer, Rene T; Gander, Fabian; Wellenzohn, Sara; Ruch, Willibald (2014). Positive psychology interventions in people aged 50–79 years: long-term effects of placebo-controlled online interventions on well-being and depression. Aging & Mental Health, 18(8):997-1005.

Abstract

Objectives: Various positive psychology interventions have been experimentally tested, but only few studies addressed the effects of such activities in participants aged 50 and above.
Method: We tested the impact of four self-administered positive psychology interventions in an online setting (i.e., gratitude visit, three good things, three funny things, and using signature strengths in a new way) on happiness and depressive symptoms in comparison with a placebo control exercise (i.e., early memories). A total of 163 females aged 50–79 tried the assigned interventions or the placebo control exercise for one week and completed measures on happiness and depressive symptoms at five times (pre- and post-test, 1, 3, and 6 months).
Results: Three out of the four interventions (i.e., gratitude visit, three good things, and using signature strengths in a new way) increased happiness, whereas two interventions (three funny things and using signature strengths in a new way) led to a reduction of depressive symptoms on at one post-measure.
Conclusion: Positive psychology interventions yield similar results for people aged 50 and above as for younger people. The dissemination of such interventions via the Internet offers a valuable opportunity for older age groups as well.

Abstract

Objectives: Various positive psychology interventions have been experimentally tested, but only few studies addressed the effects of such activities in participants aged 50 and above.
Method: We tested the impact of four self-administered positive psychology interventions in an online setting (i.e., gratitude visit, three good things, three funny things, and using signature strengths in a new way) on happiness and depressive symptoms in comparison with a placebo control exercise (i.e., early memories). A total of 163 females aged 50–79 tried the assigned interventions or the placebo control exercise for one week and completed measures on happiness and depressive symptoms at five times (pre- and post-test, 1, 3, and 6 months).
Results: Three out of the four interventions (i.e., gratitude visit, three good things, and using signature strengths in a new way) increased happiness, whereas two interventions (three funny things and using signature strengths in a new way) led to a reduction of depressive symptoms on at one post-measure.
Conclusion: Positive psychology interventions yield similar results for people aged 50 and above as for younger people. The dissemination of such interventions via the Internet offers a valuable opportunity for older age groups as well.

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25 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:DoktoratPSYCH
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:16 Apr 2014 08:54
Last Modified:21 Nov 2017 17:20
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1360-7863
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2014.899978
PubMed ID:24712501

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