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Positive Emotion Reactivity in Mild to Moderate Depression

Howley, SA; (2013) Positive Emotion Reactivity in Mild to Moderate Depression. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Aims: This review paper examines the recent literature on the efficacy of positive psychological interventions (PPIs) at treating low mood and increasing positive affect for adults with dysphoric mood. Potential mechanisms underlying these interventions are also explored. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted to identify studies which empirically tested the efficacy of PPIs. Inclusion criteria were papers reporting empirical studies of specific PPIs compared to a control group with pre- and post- measures of negative and positive affect. Results: 16 studies met the inclusion criteria. Overall, PPIs were efficacious in alleviating dysphoric mood and enhancing positive affect. Moderating and mediating factors were also identified, including personality traits, participant goals and motivations, clinical versus non-clinical samples and format of intervention delivery. There was some evidence that specific PPIs do not perform better than non-specific positive skills tasks. Conclusions: PPIs may enhance positive affect through a non-specific mechanism involving the activation of positive representations of self and others. Recently developed positive cognitive interventions hypothesised specific mechanisms of action relating to “broaden and build” theory (Frederickson et al., 1998, 2002) and competitive memory retrieval (Brewin, 2006). However it is still unclear whether there are different treatment responses to PPIs in non-clinical versus clinical samples that may relate to different ways of processing self-referent information.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Positive Emotion Reactivity in Mild to Moderate Depression
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis in two volumes: volume 2 is restricted.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1409858
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