Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Counselor Education and Supervision

Department or School/College

Phyllis J. Washington College of Education

Committee Chair

John Sommers-Flanagan

Commitee Members

Sara Polanchek, Jayna Mumbauer-Pisano, Patty Kero, Emily Sallee


college students, happiness, positive affect, positive psychology, psychology


University of Montana


College students report high rates of mental distress, including depression, high stress, anxiety, lack of social support, and physical ailments. College campuses use a variety of approaches to address the well-being of students. However, existing interventions have mixed results and do not always reach all students who may need mental health support. Positive psychology courses and positive psychology interventions have shown promise in promoting well-being. In this quantitative, quasi-experimental, pretest-posttest archival study, I examined the effects of a semester-long happiness and positive psychology course (COUN 195) on students’ well-being and mental health. This innovative happiness course included didactic lectures, small group and lab work, and one-on-one happiness consultations with counselors in training. Students who took COUN 195 reported higher levels of positive affect, hope, social support, and physical health as compared to the control group. The results indicate that semester long happiness courses may be useful in promoting positive mental health among college students. Conclusions and recommendations for future research are provided.



© Copyright 2021 Daniel JM Salois