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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

  • Mental Health
  • Life Satisfaction
  • Mental Illness
  • Moderate Mental Health
  • Positive Mental Health

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Fig. 1.1
Fig. 1.2

Notes

  1. 1.

    In my own research, I have not included the measure of negative affect to assess emotional well-being, because my research seeks to connect positive mental health with mental illnesses like depression, where negative affect (e.g., depressed mood) is part of its assessment.

  2. 2.

    The difference between the adult and adolescent version of the MHC-SF is that the reference to “your school” in question 5 is omitted for the adult version.

  3. 3.

    This graphic was commissioned by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s mental health promotion team and was created by the “That 2 Graphics” in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Copyright of Fig. 1.1 remains with the author (Corey L. M. Keyes), and permission to reprint it should be directed to Corey L. M. Keyes.

  4. 4.

    All models controlled for mental illness, age, sex, race, and education in 1995; marital status in 2005 and employment status in 2005; and whether respondents had any of 25 physical health conditions in 1995.

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Keyes, C.L.M. (2013). Promoting and Protecting Positive Mental Health: Early and Often Throughout the Lifespan. In: Keyes, C. (eds) Mental Well-Being. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-5195-8_1

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