An interpretive case study to explore children's, teachers' and parents' experiences and perspectives on the impact of a positive psychology technique called the 'three good things in life' technique

Prof Doc Thesis


Lee, D. 2017. An interpretive case study to explore children's, teachers' and parents' experiences and perspectives on the impact of a positive psychology technique called the 'three good things in life' technique. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Psychology
AuthorsLee, D.
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

The purpose of the thesis was to evaluate a positive psychology intervention called the ‘three good things in life’ technique (Seligman, Steen, Parker and Peterson, 2005). The research used a case study approach, within one school and the technique was implemented with one year five and one year six class (nine to eleven year olds), who completed the ‘three good things’ technique for one week. The research focused on an analysis of the completed booklet, a focus group with six pupils, teacher interviews and individual parental feedback interviews. Overall there were forty-two pupils from the two year groups who participated in the research and completed the ‘three good things’ booklet (Seligman et al., 2005), six pupils took part in the focus group, two of the pupils’ parents participated in the interviews and the two class teachers were interviewed.

The results of the thematic analysis and data triangulation showed that all pupils enjoyed using the technique and reported positive experiences in self-administrating the ‘three good things’ booklet and wanting to carry on doing the technique beyond the one week period. Feedback for the technique was very positive, as reported by pupils, teachers and parents. Increases in pupil positive self-reflection and prosocial behaviour were noticed by pupils and class teachers, although there were no changes with negative behaviours, as the classes did not have pupils with behavioural needs. In the booklet the pupils wrote about how they were improving in key subjects, but also social behaviours were logged such as helping each other, and the pupils developing their personal skills or traits. There were also participant recommendations for improving the booklet including the option of pupils customising the booklet. It is important to note that future research will need to focus on quantifying the amount of noted improvements in behaviour or progress that the pupils make when using the ‘three good things in life’ technique (Seligman et al., 2005). It is also important to note that the research was of a preliminary nature with a small research group, and therefore it will require further research to add to its evidence base.
Overall, this study has demonstrated some potential benefits of the ‘three good things’ technique (Seligman et al., 2005) and the ease of using it with children and also within education. Further research can expand on this initial qualitative analysis and provide further information for future studies and debate.

Year2017
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/PUB.7311
Publication dates
PrintSep 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Jun 2018
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-ND
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/84qv6

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