Graduation Year


Document Type

Ed. Specalist



Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Shannon Suldo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sarah Fefer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Ferron, Ph.D.


positive psychology, positive psychology intervention, school mental health, school-based intervention


The Well-Being Promotion Program (WBPP) is a school-based positive psychology intervention implemented in both primary and secondary schools to increase subjective well-being in children and adolescents. Through the inclusion of a parent information session and weekly parent contacts, parents of students enrolled in the program are encouraged to enhance their child’s generalization of positive activities and relationship building skills. However, previous implementation of the WBPP provides evidence for the existence of barriers to parental involvement in the intervention. Although the literature on parental involvement in school-based positive psychology interventions is sparse, research conducted with a variety of school-based and clinical interventions for children suggest that barriers such as low socioeconomic status, minority group status, and low parent educational attainment are associated with reduced levels of parent involvement in interventions. Furthermore, the Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler framework for parent involvement outlines several possible motivations that encourage parent involvement in their children’s school affairs. In effort to assess the potential barriers and motivating factors to parent involvement in the WBPP, the current study systematically analyzed data provided by parents of 51 students (n = 26 intervention group, n = 25 delayed-intervention control group) enrolled in a study of the effectiveness of the WBPP. All 51 parents provided data during the consent process about communication preferences and interest in attending a parent information session, and 17 parents in the intervention group completed a survey of demographic characteristics. Immediately post-treatment, parents of 15 of the 26 students assigned to the intervention group completed a survey about the motivations and barriers influencing their participation in program components. The current study found that most participants preferred text messaging and email as the primary means of communication during the program. Several parents expressed preferring email delivery of the WBPP’s parent information letters, as requiring students to be responsible for passing along information letters to their parents resulted in unsuccessful delivery of the letters for many families. Although 76.5% of parents expressed interest in attending a parent information session in at least one mode of delivery (in-person, synchronous online, prerecorded video), only six of the 26 parents in the intervention group (23.1%) went on to attend an information session, all of whom attended a synchronous online session despite having indicated preferences for other modalities. Furthermore, the current study found that invitations to involvement and parents’ beliefs about role construction were influential to the extent of parents’ involvement in the program. Parents of minority group status and lower levels of educational attainment were less likely to provide data describing their level of participation during the study. These findings may inform future cultural competency and social justice considerations of the WBPP.

Included in

Psychology Commons