A longitudinal investigation of strategies to enhance well-being among Chinese college students

[Speaker] Wu, Kai:1
[Co-author] Sun*, Xiaojie:1
1:Dongbei University of Finance and Economics (China (People's Republic of China))

The present study investigates whether culture-specific intervention, relative to generic intervention, is more effective in promoting the happiness of Chinese college students. Two strategies were employed: one was writing gratitude letters, and the other was writing the "best self" in 5 years. Gratitude is consistent with collective culture of e.g. China as it is other-focused; whereas optimism of "best self" underpins individualistic culture because it is more self-focused. Participants were randomly assigned to three groups: writing gratitude letter, writing "best self" in five years, and taking English vocabulary test. The experiment was performed weekly for eight weeks in classroom. Pre- and Post- tests of well-being were measured with Oxford Happiness Questionnaire. The result showed that the gratitude group benefited significantly from the intervention while the other two groups did not. This study suggests that well-being interventions should bring culture concerns into consideration.
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