A personal journey of studying positive psychology: reflections of undergraduate students in the United Arab Emirates

Shrivastava, Anita ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5937-0012, Azhar, Humna and Hyland, Lynda ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5813-6400 (2022) A personal journey of studying positive psychology: reflections of undergraduate students in the United Arab Emirates. Teaching of Psychology . ISSN 1532-8023 [Article] (Published online first) (doi:10.1177/00986283221106689)

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Background: An increasing number of undergraduate positive psychology courses offer students a holistic view of the broader discipline of psychology. Even short-term participation in positive psychology activities as part of a taught course may improve psychological well-being and lower stress. However, there is a dearth of qualitative evidence on how students experience this learning process.
Objective: This study aimed to explore UAE-based undergraduate students’ reflections on their experiences of an elective positive psychology course and their participation in various positive psychology interventions (PPIs).
Method: This qualitative study explored 21 UAE-based undergraduate students’ reflections on taking a semester-long positive psychology course, in which they participated in PPIs. The rich data from semi-structured interviews were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis.
Results: Three main themes emerged, namely rethinking positive psychology, changes in perspective on happiness and search for positivity, and enhanced relationships.
Conclusion and Teaching Implications: The study suggests that positive psychology may reach past the time and space of the taught course and have at least a short-term positive impact on students' mental and social lives. Findings from this study imply the potential of positive psychology in higher education and point towards further integration of such courses in undergraduate programs in the UAE and beyond.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): General Psychology, Education
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 35241
Notes on copyright: © The Author(s) 2022
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2022 14:02
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2022 03:11
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/35241

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