Preferred Name

Jennifer L. Mills

ORCID

http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7627-0168

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Advisor(s)

Gregg Henriques

Elena Savina

Deborah Kipps-Vaughan

Abstract

With the rise of positive psychology as a subfield of psychology, there has been increased focus and attention on the construct of well-being. Unfortunately, lack of agreement regarding the ultimate goal of positive psychology has contributed to fragmentation within the field of psychology. Thus, literature on well-being has not been integrated into a broad model for understanding psychology and human nature, as is the case with much psychological research. Connecting such research to a deep theoretical and philosophical model is important with a construct like well-being, as it is a complicated and central construct for the field, for both practitioners and researchers. There were two main objectives of the current project. The first was to develop a coherent conceptualization of well-being in adolescent females using Henriques’ (2011) unified theory/unified approach (UT/UA). The second objective was to use UT/UA to design a theoretically-informed program to enhance well-being in that population. To address these objectives, this project offers a theoretical review of the literature relevant for developing a comprehensive, unified system for conceptualizing adolescent well-being, as well as an example of how this theoretical framework can be applied to the design of a pilot intervention program. The value is both in demonstrating the feasibility of this new comprehensive approach to conceptualizing human well-being for young girls, as well as in offering a demonstration of the application of this conceptualization in an applied study targeting the promotion of well-being. The implications and limitations of the current project are also discussed.

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