Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 591–612 | Cite as

The Effects of Positive Interventions on Happiness and Depressive Symptoms, with an Examination of Personality as a Moderator

  • Konrad SenfEmail author
  • Albert Kienfie Liau
Research Paper


The advent of positive psychology has triggered research into positive interventions, which focus on strengths instead of deficits. The present study aims to investigate the effects of gratitude and strengths-based interventions on happiness and depressive symptoms against a control group, as well as to explore personality traits as moderator variables of the potential effectiveness of these interventions. A total of 122 participants completed at least two stages of the research. Data were collected at three stages—baseline pre-test, post-intervention assessment, and 1-month follow-up assessment. The findings partially support the effectiveness of the gratitude and strengths-based interventions in increasing happiness and decreasing depressive symptoms compared to a control group. Two personality domains showed significance as moderator variables. More research is needed to enable a higher degree of control when administering these promising interventions.


Positive interventions Personal strengths Gratitude Personality Happiness Depressive symptoms Moderator variables 



The article was based on the first author’s senior honors thesis submitted to HELP University, Malaysia. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of Dr Anasuya Jegathevi Jegathesan as the instructor of the class from which participants were recruited, as well as Ms Lee Jue Ying, who helped with the compilation of some of the data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Otto-von-Guericke-Universität MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  2. 2.Nanyang Technological University, Psychological Studies Academic Group National Institute of EducationSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.HELP UniversityKuala LumpurMalaysia

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