Promoting Student Happiness

Positive Psychology Interventions in Schools

Shannon M. Suldo

A Paperback Originale-bookprint + e-book
A Paperback Original
July 22, 2016
ISBN 9781462526802
Price: $36.00 $30.60
273 Pages
Size: 8" x 10½"
Convenient Lay-Flat Binding
June 29, 2016
Price: $36.00 $30.60
273 Pages
Convenient Lay-Flat Binding
print + e-book
A Paperback Original + e-Book (PDF) ?
Price: $72.00 $39.60
273 Pages

Grounded in cutting-edge research, this book shows how interventions targeting gratitude, kindness, character strengths, optimistic thinking, hope, and healthy relationships can contribute to improved academic and social outcomes in grades 3-12. It provides a 10-session manual for promoting subjective well-being—complete with vivid case examples—that can be implemented with individuals, small groups, or whole classes. Factors that predict youth happiness are discussed, evidence-based assessment tools presented, and ways to involve teachers and parents described. In a large-size format with lay-flat binding for easy photocopying, the volume includes 40 reproducible handouts and forms. Purchasers get access to a companion website where they can download and print these materials, plus online-only fidelity checklists and parent and teacher notes.

This title is part of The Guilford Practical Intervention in the Schools Series, edited by T. Chris Riley-Tillman.

Promoting Student Happiness is a good addition to any school social worker’s repertoire, especially for focusing on improving students’ sense of well-being and satisfaction through interventions with students, families, and teachers. Each session of the curriculum can be used individually and is appropriate for use in a social work office or classroom.”

School Social Work Journal

“Integrating positive psychology interventions with other evidence-based mental health practices and delivering such programming in a multitiered framework has promise. This is an idea whose time has come. This is an excellent book with broad appeal and potential for significant positive impact. It could be adjunctive reading in any graduate program in which positive psychology is addressed. It is highly recommended that this book become part of any school psychology graduate programming, teacher training program, as well as in programs for school administrators and other support personnel.”

Child and Family Behavior Therapy

“An extraordinary resource for school psychologists and other school mental health professionals. Suldo very competently makes the case that happiness lies at the core of psychological wellness and that the promotion of well-being is an effective agent of intervention. The book meticulously organizes the evidence for the manualized Well-Being Promotion Program and other high-quality interventions that are ecological, family-focused, and integrated within comprehensive school mental health services. All of these strategies are eminently ‘doable’ because Suldo’s rich appendices provide copies of measures, the manual for the Well-Being Promotion Program, and multiple other tools that enable practitioners to immediately translate the concepts into practice. This would be a great text for a course preparing school psychology students to deliver evidence-based interventions in schools or clinics.”

—Beth Doll, PhD, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Education and Human Sciences, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

“This superb book provides school mental health professionals with invaluable practical guidance for fostering children’s subjective well-being. It presents broad-based techniques for implementing positive psychology interventions in the classroom and family contexts, including ways to integrate them into multi-tiered systems of support. An absolute 'must have' for anyone interested in promoting and protecting well-being in youth.”

—Carmel Proctor, PhD, Director, Positive Psychology Research Centre, Guernsey, Channel Islands

“The landscape and challenges of student life are changing quickly and the most successful students are armed with knowledge of their strengths as well as tools for building resiliency and happiness. Suldo's book is unique in offering extensive reviews of assessments and programming together with an actual, proven program protocol that practitioners can pick up and use. I am eager to use the Well-Being Promotion Program in my small groups and individual counseling sessions, and to help incorporate Suldo’s important efforts into my district’s existing social–emotional learning work.”

—Jennifer Leverentz, SSP, NCSP, school psychologist, Twin Groves Middle School, Buffalo Grove, Illinois

“This book synthesizes available scientific work into one reliable source while offering practical guidance on how to improve student well-being. Detailed program plans, well-being measures, and parent and teacher notes are sure to stimulate the delivery and evaluation of school-based well-being programs—what a gift to school staff and researchers, and ultimately to the young people whose lives will be improved as a result. Finally, we have a commonsense, thorough approach to promoting youth well-being. Suldo skillfully dovetails the research and practitioner perspectives with a systems framework for promoting sustained benefits. She has given us a solid building block for future work in the field.”

—Dianne Vella-Brodrick, PhD, Centre for Positive Psychology, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Australia

“I love the proactiveness of Suldo's approach. Promoting subjective well-being in the school is a refreshing contrast to traditional, more reactive school-based psychological services.”

—Dawn Donner-Chambers, LPC, school counselor, Oregon School District, Wisconsin

Table of Contents

I. Overview of Student Happiness

1. Background and Rationale

2. Measuring Students' Well-Being (with E. Scott Huebner & Michael Furlong)

3. Factors Associated with Youth Subjective Well-Being

II. Student-Focused Strategies for Promoting Youth Happiness

4. Theoretical Framework Underpinning Design and Development of Positive Psychology Interventions

5. The Well-Being Promotion Program: A Selective Intervention for Adolescents (with Jessica Savage)

6. Alternative Selective and Indicated Interventions for Promoting Youth Happiness (with Brittany Hearon)

III. Ecological Strategies for Promoting Youth Happiness

7. Universal Strategies for Promoting Student Happiness (with Mollie McCullough & Denise Quinlan)

8. Family-Focused Strategies for Promoting Youth Happiness (with Rachel Roth)

IV. Professional Considerations in Promoting Happiness across Cultures and Systems

9. Cross-Cultural and International Considerations (with Gary Yu Hin Lam)

10. Integrating Positive Psychology in a Multi-Tiered System of Support (with Natalie Romer)

About the Author

Shannon M. Suldo, PhD, is Professor in the School Psychology Program at the University of South Florida. Her research focuses on youth happiness, and she has completed numerous studies to understand factors that explain differences in students' levels of happiness. She frequently presents her work at local, state, national, and international conferences, and has extensive experience implementing positive psychology interventions in elementary, middle, and high schools. Dr. Suldo is a recipient of the Lightner Witmer Award from Division 16 (School Psychology) of the American Psychological Association. She has coauthored more than 60 journal articles and 10 book chapters.


Shannon Suldo, PhD, School Psychology Program, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

E. Scott Huebner, PhD, School Psychology Program, Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina

Michael Furlong, PhD, Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Jessica Savage, PhD, Hillsborough County Public Schools, Tampa, Florida

Brittany Hearon, MA, School Psychology Program, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Mollie McCullough, MA, School Psychology Program, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Denise Quinlan, PhD, independent consultant, New Zealand

Rachel Roth, PhD, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

Gary Yu Hin Lam, MA, School Psychology Program, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

Natalie Romer, PhD, Department of Child and Family Studies, Center for Inclusive Communities, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida


School psychologists, social workers, and counselors working with children ages 8–17; child clinical psychologists.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in advanced undergraduate- or graduate-level courses.