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National surveys consistently reveal that an inordinate number of students report high levels of boredom, anger, and stress in school, which often leads to their disengagement from critical learning and social development. If the ultimate goal of schools is to educate young people to become responsible and critically thinking citizens who can succeed in life, understanding factors that stimulate them to become active agents in their own leaning is critical. A new field labeled "positive psychology" is one lens that can be used to investigate factors that facilitate a student’s sense of agency and active school engagement.
The purposes of this groundbreaking Handbook are to 1) describe ways that positive emotions, traits, and institutions promote school achievement and healthy social/emotional development 2) describe how specific positive-psychological constructs relate to students and schools and support the delivery of school-based services and 3) describe the application of positive psychology to educational policy making. By doing so, the book provides a long-needed centerpiece around which the field can continue to grow in an organized and interdisciplinary manner.
Key features include:
Comprehensive – this book is the first to provide a comprehensive review of what is known about positive psychological constructs and the school experiences of children and youth. Topical coverage ranges from conceptual foundations to assessment and intervention issues to service delivery models. Intrapersonal factors (e.g., hope, life satisfaction) and interpersonal factors (e.g., positive peer and family relationships) are examined as is classroom-and-school-level influences (e.g., student-teacher and school-community relations).
Interdisciplinary Focus – this volume brings together the divergent perspectives, methods, and findings of a broad, interdisciplinary community of scholars whose work often fails to reach those working in contiguous fields.
Chapter Structure – to insure continuity, flow, and readability chapters are organized as follows: overview, research summary, relationship to student development, examples of real-world applications, and a summarizing table showing implications for future research and practice.
Methodologies – chapters feature longitudinal studies, person-centered approaches, experimental and quasi-experimental designs and mixed methods.
Section 1: Conceptual Foundations 1. A Conceptual Model for Research in Positive Psychology in Children and Youth 2. The Nature and Importance of Positive Mental Health in America's Adolescents Section 2: Internal Assets and Positive Student Development 3. Life Satisfaction 4. Measuring and Promoting Hope in Schoolchildren 5. Optimism and the School Context 6. Strengths of Characters in Schools 7. Gratitude in School: Benefits to Students and Schools 8. Positive Self-Concepts 9. Emotion Regulation: Implications for Positive Youth Development 10. Empathy, Prosocial Behavior, and Positive Development in Schools 11. Flow in Schools: Cultivating Engaged Learners and Optimal Learning Environments Section 3: Contextual Resources and Positive Student Development 12. Toward a Positive Psychology of Academic Motivation: The Role of Self-Efficacy Beliefs 13. Oriented Towards Mastery: Promoting Positive Motivational Goals for Students 14. Creativity in the Schools: A Rapidly Developing Area of Positive Psychology 15. School Satisfaction and Children's Positive School Adjustment 16. Student Engagement and Positive School Adaptation 17. The ClassMaps Survey: A Framework for Promoting Positive Classroom Environments 18. Peer Relationships and Positive Adjustment at School 19. Parent-Child Relationships 20. Parents as Essential Partners for Fostering Students' Learning Outcomes 21. Secrets of Their Success: Activity Participation and Positive Youth Development Section 4: School-Based Applications for Positive Student Development 22. Positive Psychology and School-Based Interventions 23. The Positive in Positive Models of Discipline 24. Positive Psychology and the Prevention of School-Based Victimization 25. Promoting Positive Adaptation During the Early Childhood Years 26. Listening to Students: Moving from Resilience Research to Youth Development Practice and School Connectedness 27. Positive Psychology and Students with Intellectual Disabilities 28. Positive Psychology and School/Community-based Youth Participatory Photography Programs 29. Child and Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors: Prevalence and Comprehensive Prevention and Intervention Strategies 30. Wholistic Wellness and Exercise among Adolescents 31. Nutrition: The Foundation of Health, Happiness, and Academic Success 32. A Positive Psychology Approach to Developing Talent and Preventing Talent Loss in the Arts and Sciences 33. Positive Psychology, Culture, and Schools: Conceptual and Empirical Challenges 34. Positive Psychology for Educators 35. The Law's Place in Fostering Positive Youth Development in Schools