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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Who benefits from a subjective well-being intervention? the role of personality, psychological needs, and implicit theories. White, Carmela Anna


There is a large body of research supporting the significant benefits of subjective well-being (SWB) across several life domains. Not surprisingly, a substantial body of literature followed in developing and investigating effective ways to increase SWB through the implementation of SWB interventions. However, the majority of these interventions primarily use student populations and are often short with little contact. A newly developed SWB intervention (Enduring Happiness and Continued Self-Enhancement [ENHANCE]) was developed to address limitations in previously developed SWB interventions, and to update and expand literature in this area (Kushlev et al., 2017). Initial outcomes of the ENHANCE intervention revealed to be effective in increasing life satisfaction and positive affect and decreasing negative affect for up to six months (Heintzelman et al., 2019; Lutes et al., 2019). While the ENHANCE intervention has begun to demonstrate its effectiveness, the next essential step is to examine for whom it works best. Several individual difference factors have been associated with SWB, specifically, the Big Five personality traits, motivational factors such as psychological need satisfaction (autonomy, relatedness, and competence), and individual beliefs such as implicit theories of well-being (i.e., the degree to which one believes they can change their well-being). The current study investigated whether any of these factors predict the effectiveness of the ENHANCE intervention. Findings showed that while ENHANCE is effective at increasing SWB, specific individual differences, such as higher neuroticism and lower extraversion, predict greater benefits in some areas of SWB, but not others. These findings will inform researchers and practitioners developing and utilizing SWB interventions who share the same goal of maximizing ways to increase SWB among individuals and communities.

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