Effectiveness of a positive psychology intervention combined with cognitive behavioral therapy in university students

  • Rosario Josefa Marrero Universidad de La Laguna
  • Mónica Carballeira Universidad de La Laguna
  • Sabrina Martín Universidad de La Laguna
  • Miriam Mejías Universidad de La Laguna
  • Juan Andrés Hernández Universidad de La Laguna
Keywords: positive intervention, subjective well-being, psychological well-being, optimism, self-esteem, social support.


The aim of this study was to design and implement a positive intervention combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy to enhance subjective and psychological well-being and other positive functioning constructs in a convenience sample. Participants analysed were 48 university students (mean age 22.25),25 assigned nonrandomized to intervention condition and 23 to no-treatment waiting-list control condition. All participants were assessed pre- and post-intervention to test the treatment program effectiveness. Repeated-measures ANCOVAs, controlling baseline differences between the two groups, indicated that the intervention group reported greater social support after the intervention period than the waiting-list control group. Within-group differences were found for happiness, self-acceptance, positive relations with others, optimism, and self-esteem in the intervention group; these differences did not appear in the waiting-list control group. These findings suggest the limited capacity of this intervention program for improving well-being through positive activities combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy. Future research should analyse what kind of activities could be more effective in promoting well-beingdepending on the characteristics of participants.


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How to Cite
Marrero, R. J., Carballeira, M., Martín, S., Mejías, M., & Hernández, J. A. (2016). Effectiveness of a positive psychology intervention combined with cognitive behavioral therapy in university students. Anales De Psicología / Annals of Psychology, 32(3), 728-740. https://doi.org/10.6018/analesps.32.3.261661
Monographic theme: Positive Psychology in Spain

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