The effects of a positive psychology intervention on the self-concept of students with learning disabilities.




Short, Stacey

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Identifying and developing strengths may serve as an intervention to improve selfconcept. The power of positive psychology is the foundation for recent studies in strengths-development research. Positive psychology is based on the premise that, if people are taught to capitalize on their strengths and to be resilient and optimistic, they will lead happier, more productive lives. The purpose of this research was to measure the effects of a positive psychology intervention on students’ self-concept. Based on positive psychology principles, the intervention was designed to help students learn both about positive psychology and about their personal strengths. This intervention was designed to serve a population of children, ages 10 to 15 years old, in Victoria, Canada. A sample size of 26 students diagnosed with learning disabilities were randomly assigned to either the experimental or control group. The intervention group participated in a 3-week intervention course about positive psychology, and they completed the VIA (Values in Action Inventory of Strengths – Youth)( Park& Peterson, 2003) to identify their individual strengths. Before and after the intervention program, students were assessed using the Self Description Questionnaire (SDQ-1; Marsh, 1992). Using a pre and post test design, t-tests indicated there was no statistically significant difference between the groups gains. There was, however, a small effect for the intervention group in the selfconcept domains of Math (d=0.30), Reading (d=0.22), and Total Academic Self-Concept (d=0.20) following the positive psychology intervention.



Self-perception, Identity