Positive Psychology Programs For Youth In Diverse Communities

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Published In

Evidence-Based Positive Psychological Interventions In Multi-Cultural Contexts


Positive psychology interventions have shown great promise in promoting well-being. However, existing programs for both adults and youth have typically targeted predominantly affluent populations in high income communities and countries. Less is known about the relevance and benefits of positive psychology approaches with other populations. This chapter describes our team’s collective experience developing, implementing, and evaluating school-based positive psychology programs for youth (children and adolescents) in a variety of communities around the world, including communities in India, Kenya, and Canada. We discuss the relevance of positive psychology concepts, especially character strengths and resilience, and intervention approaches. We share lessons learned and recommendations for future work that can help to ensure positive psychology programs are cross-culturally relevant and responsive. Key among these are: (1) the importance of including local community members in each phase of program development, implementation, and evaluation, and (2) the necessity of flexibility when scaling programs to reach large populations.


Positive psychology interventions, Character strengths, School-based interventions, Children, Adolescents, Culture

Published By



L. E. Van Zyl and S. Rothmann Sr.