Event Title

The Happy Campaign: Assessing the Effectiveness of a Community-Wide Intervention on the Well-Being of Elders in Public Housing

Faculty Advisor

Mignon Montpetit Jolly

Graduation Year

2021

Location

Center for Natural Sciences

Start Date

4-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

4-4-2020 10:00 AM

Description

In the field of developmental psychology, the Stress-and-Coping model (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) posits that individual differences in biological, psychological, and social risk and protective factors serve to increase or buffer the impact of stressful experiences on psychological well-being later in life. Importantly, research suggests that residents of public housing generally experience more risk factors than elders at large (Rabins et al., 1996). The present study examines the impact of a programmatic intervention, The Happy Campaign, on elderly individuals living in public housing in a small Midwestern city. Goals of the Happy Campaign were to improve residents’ coping skills and increase perceived support. Results demonstrated significant improvement in key aspects of well-being post-intervention; these included increases in exercise, self-reported health, and hope, as well as decreases in negative affect. Although future research is needed to account for confounding variables that arose in conducting research in this community setting, these data provide preliminary evidence that a broad-based, environmental intervention may offset the myriad risks faced by particularly vulnerable elders, and even augment well-being.

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Apr 4th, 9:00 AM Apr 4th, 10:00 AM

The Happy Campaign: Assessing the Effectiveness of a Community-Wide Intervention on the Well-Being of Elders in Public Housing

Center for Natural Sciences

In the field of developmental psychology, the Stress-and-Coping model (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) posits that individual differences in biological, psychological, and social risk and protective factors serve to increase or buffer the impact of stressful experiences on psychological well-being later in life. Importantly, research suggests that residents of public housing generally experience more risk factors than elders at large (Rabins et al., 1996). The present study examines the impact of a programmatic intervention, The Happy Campaign, on elderly individuals living in public housing in a small Midwestern city. Goals of the Happy Campaign were to improve residents’ coping skills and increase perceived support. Results demonstrated significant improvement in key aspects of well-being post-intervention; these included increases in exercise, self-reported health, and hope, as well as decreases in negative affect. Although future research is needed to account for confounding variables that arose in conducting research in this community setting, these data provide preliminary evidence that a broad-based, environmental intervention may offset the myriad risks faced by particularly vulnerable elders, and even augment well-being.