Promoting and Protecting Positive Mental Health: Early and Often Throughout the Lifespan

  • Corey L. M. Keyes


This chapter summarizes the conception and diagnosis of the mental health continuum, findings supporting the two-continua model of mental health and illness, and the benefits of flourishing to society and individuals, with a focus on youth. Youth who are flourishing report the lowest level of depression, conduct and behavioral problems, and the highest levels of prosocial engagement and school integration. Moreover, evidence from the study of adults shows that increases in level of positive mental health are associated with decreased risk of future mental illness, while the loss of level of positive mental health is associated with increased risk of future mental illness over a 10-year period. This body of evidence, with the finding that the prevalence of flourishing is less than half of all youth in middle school and drops nearly 10 % in high school youth, indicates the need for the promotion and protection of positive mental health throughout the lifespan but starting early with youth.


Mental Health Life Satisfaction Mental Illness Moderate Mental Health Positive Mental Health 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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