Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Shannon Suldo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Evan Dart, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Ferron, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Margaret Krause, Ph.D.


complete mental health, intervention, psychopathology, Subjective well-being


This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of a culturally adapted 9-session group positive psychology intervention with and without an added peer reporting intervention on student levels of social, emotional, and behavioral functioning. Many studies have evaluated either school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SWPBIS) or positive psychology interventions (PPIs) in isolation, but very few studies have examined the extent to which combining these interventions and approaches may promote complete mental health. The Well-Being Promotion Program is a multitarget positive psychology intervention that has been evaluated in both elementary and middle school populations (Roth et al., 2017; Lenz et al., 2019; Suldo et al., 2014; Suldo et al., 2015). This study provided a culturally adapted WBPP in a small group format to elementary and middle school students who initially reported room for growth in life satisfaction. Students were also randomly selected to receive the positive peer reporting (PPR) which was aligned with the SWPBIS plan. PPR entails a randomly selecting students to receive positive peer reports at the end of group sessions and encourages students to identify the strengths of others. The intervention entailed nine sessions from the 10-core sessions of the WBPP provided twice weekly for five weeks in the fourth quarter of the 2021-2022 school year. Participants in this study included 26 5th-8th grade students in one K-8 school in the southeastern United States, a K-8 charter school that serves a predominately minoritized student population. Participants were stratified by grade level and then randomly assigned to receive the WBPP alone, or the WBPP including PPR. At the end of the intervention (WBPP or WBPP+PPR), students reported their feelings about the intervention by rating treatment acceptability. Students completed a pre- and post-assessment examining levels of emotional well-being (life satisfaction, positive and negative affect), behavioral problems (hyperactivity, conduct problems, anxiety, and depression) and peer relationships (peer problems, satisfaction with friends). Regarding acceptability of the intervention, a series of t-tests indicated no significant differences between conditions in levels of desirability, feasibility, or understanding, but students who participated in the WBPP+PPR condition tended to rate the intervention as somewhat less acceptable, particularly with regard to desirability and understanding. This study analyzed the differential effects of the PPI (the WBPP) with and without the behavioral support (PPR) using a repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). This study found that students who received the culturally adapted WBPP experienced similar social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes than students who received the adapted WBPP + PPR. Overall, this study determined that there were no differences in levels of emotional, social, or behavioral outcomes for students who received a PPI combined with a behavioral support compared to those who only received a PPI. The small sample size in this study and abbreviated duration of the intervention period should be considered when interpreting results. Future directions and implications for educational professionals are discussed.