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Terapia psicológica

On-line version ISSN 0718-4808


PARKS, Acacia C  and  SZANTO, Rebecca K. Assessing the efficacy and effectiveness of a Positive Psychology-based self-help book. Ter Psicol [online]. 2013, vol.31, n.1, pp.141-149. ISSN 0718-4808.

The current article discusses the potential utility of self-help books as a means of disseminating positive psychological interventions, and presents data comparing a positive psychology-based self-help book with a cognitive-behavioral self-help book and a self-monitoring control condition. We studied college freshmen (N=58), and argue that this population is a particularly appropriate target for well-being intervention. Outcome measures included both indices of efficacy (depressive symptoms and life satisfaction) and effectiveness (e.g. the extent to which participants found their assigned activities to be meaningful). The two book groups outperformed the control and were equivalently efficacious at reducing depressive symptoms; on life satisfaction, positive self-help outperformed cognitive-behavioral, but only at 6-month follow-up. Positive self-help was also superior to cognitive-behavioral self-help on indices of effectiveness. Possibilities for future directions are discussed, with an emphasis on the realities of practical dissemination to both college students, and to the general public.

Keywords : self-help books; positive psychological interventions; efficacy; effectiveness.

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