Supporting Research

The GoStrengths family of programs rests upon concepts from various scientific disciplines including positive psychology and neuroscience. Below are specific academic studies and texts referenced in each program.

GoZen! Academic References

GoZen! References

Character Strength Development

Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: a handbook and classification. New York: Oxford University Press/Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

Peterson, C. (2006). A primer in positive psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Seligman, M. E. (2002). Authentic happiness: using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York: Free Press.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety

Ishikawa., Shin-Ichi., Okajima., Isa., Matsuoka., Hirofumi., et al. (2007). Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents: A Meta-Analysis. Child and Adolescent Mental Health12(4), 164-172.

Cognitive Distortions and Disputation

Note: ThoughtHoles are cognitive distortions and the 5Cs method is a form of disputation.

Beck, A.T. (1976). Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: International Universities Press.

Beck, A. T. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford Press.

Burns, D. D. (1980). Feeling good: the new mood therapy. New York: Morrow.

Reivich, K., Gillham, J. E., Chaplin, T. M., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). From helplessness to optimism: The role of resilience in treating and preventing depression in youth. New York, NY, US: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

Fight or Flight Response

Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.

Isaacson, R. L. (1974). The limbic system. New York: Plenum Press.

Jansen, A., Nguyen, X., Karpitskiy, V., Mettenleiter, T., & Loewy, A. (1995). Central command neurons of the sympathetic nervous system: basis of the fight-or-flight response. Science (New York, N.Y.)270(5236), 644-646.

LeDoux, J. (2007). The Amygdala. Current Biology, 17(20), R868- R874

Gratitude Exercises

Note: The bonus material in the GoZen! program teaches children to express gratitude as a form of reducing worry and boosting optimism.

Emmons, R. (2007) Thanks!: How the new science of gratitude can make you happier. Boston: Houghton Mifflan Company.

Brickman, P., Coates, D., Janoff-Bulman, R. (1978). Lottery Winners and Accident Victims: Is Happiness Relative? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 36 (8) p. 917-927

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-IV-TR. (4th ed.). (2000). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

GoStrengths! Academic References

GoStrengths! Module 1-3 References

The Disease Model:

Albee, G. W. (2005). Call to revolution in the prevention of emotional disorders. Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry: An International Journal of Critical Inquiry, 7, 37-44.

American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

Birmaher, B., Ryan, N. D., Williamson, D. E., & Brent, D. A. (1996). Childhood and adolescent depression: A review of the past 10 years, part I. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 35(11), 1427-1439.

Maslow, A. H. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper.

Pickren, W. E. & Schneider, S. F. [Eds.]. (2005). Psychology and the National Institute of Mental Health: A Historical Analysis of Science, Practice, and Policy. Washington, DC: APA Books.

Seligman, M. E. (2002). Authentic happiness: using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York: Free Press.

Benefits of Happiness:

Gillham, J. E., Reivich, K. J., Freres, D. R., Chaplin, T. M., Shatté, A. J., Samuels, B., Elkon, A. G. L., Litzinger, S., Lascher, M., Gallop, R., Seligman, M. E. P. (2007). School-based prevention of depressive symptoms: A randomized controlled study of the effectiveness and specificity of the penn resiliency program. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75(1), 9-19.

Reivich, K. & Gillham, J. E., (2009). Penn Resiliency Program Executive Summary. Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania.

Benefits of Resilience:

Danner, D. D., Snowdon, D. A., & Friesen, W. V. (2001). Positive emotions in early life and longevity: findings from the nun study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80(5), 804-813.

Diener, E., Nickerson, C., Lucas, R. E., & Sandvik, E. (2002). Dispositional affect and job outcomes. Social Indicators Research, 59(3), 229-259.

Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., & Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131(6), 803 855.

Negative and Positive Emotions:

Baumeister, R. F., Bratslavsky, E., Finkenauer, C., & Vohs, K. D. (2001). Bad is stronger than good. Review of General Psychology, 5(4), 323-370.

Cacioppo, J. T., Gardner, W. L., & Berntson, G. G. (1997). Beyond bipolar conceptualizations and measures: The case of attitudes and evaluative space. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1, 3-25.

Fredrickson, B. (2009). Positivity. New York: Crown Publishers.

Greenspoon, P.J., & Saklofske, D.H. (2001). Toward an integration of subjective well-being and psychopathology. Social Indicators Research, 54, 81-108.

Suldo, S. M., & Shaffer, E. J. (2008). Looking beyond psychopathology: The dual-factor model of mental health in youth. School Psychology Review, 37, 52 68.

The Progress Paradox:

Easterbrook, G. (2003). The progress paradox: how life gets better while people feel worse. New York: Random House.

Levine, B. E. (2007). Surviving America’s depression epidemic: how to find morale, energy, and community in a world gone crazy. White River Junction, Vt.: Chelsea Green Publishing Company.

National Institute of Mental Health – Mental Health Statistics

US Bureau of Economic Analysis – GDP Data

Youth Depression Statistics:

Abela, J. R. Z., & Hankin, B. L. (2011). Rumination as a vulnerability factor to depression during the transition from early to middle adolescence: A multiwave longitudinal study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 120(2), 259-271.

Lewinsohn, P. M., Clarke, G. N., Seeley, J. R., & Rohde, P. (1994). Major depression in community adolescents: Age at onset, episode duration, and time to recurrence. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 33(6), 809-818.

National Research Council, Institute of Medicine. The etiology of depression. In: Depression in parents, parenting, and children. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2009. p. 73 118.

What is Happiness?

Seligman, M. E. (2011). Flourish. North Sydney, N.S.W.: Random House Australia.

The ETR Model:

While the ETR acronym is unique to GoStrengths!, the process of thoughts causing behaviors and emotions dates backs quite a while. There are several schools of thought regarding what causes us to do what we do including evolutionary, psychophysiological, neurological, and cognitive perspectives. The GoStrengths! ETR model is based on the cognitive perspective developed largely on research by Aaron Beck, Albert Ellis, and Martin Seligman.

Beck, A.T. (1976). Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: International Universities Press.

Beck, A. T. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford Press.

Burns, D. D. (1980). Feeling good: the new mood therapy. New York: Morrow.

Ellis, A., & Bernard, M. E. (2006). Rational emotive behavioral approaches to childhood disorders theory, practice and research. New York: Springer.

Seligman, M. E. (1991). Learned optimism. New York: A.A. Knopf.

Resilience Research:

Reivich, K., Gillham, J. E., Chaplin, T. M., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2005). From helplessness to optimism: The role of resilience in treating and preventing depression in youth. New York, NY, US: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

Masten, A.S., Best, K., Garmezy, N. (1990). Resilience and development: Contributions from the study of children who overcome adversity. Development and Psychopathology, 2 , pp 425-444

Reivich, K., & Shatté, A. (2002). The resilience factor: 7 essential skills for overcoming life’s inevitable obstacles. New York: Broadway Books.

Conscious Thought Processing:

Baron, Jonathan. Thinking and deciding. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow. S.l.: HarperCollins, 1991.

Kahneman, Daniel. Thinking, fast and slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011.

Nørretranders, Tor. The user illusion: cutting consciousness down to size. New York: Viking, 1998.

ThoughtHoles:

While the name and conceptualization of ThoughtHoles is unique to GoStrengths!, it is based largely in research by Aaron Beck. We are also grateful to the wonderful work of Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatté on the subject of resilience.

Beck, Aaron T. Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: International Universities Press, 1976.

Beck, Aaron T., and Brad A. Alford. Depression: causes and treatment. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009.

Reivich, Karen, and Andrew Shatté. The resilience factor: 7 keys to finding your inner strength and overcoming life’s hurdles. New York: Broadway Books, 2003.

GoStrengths! Module 4-7 References

Where does Resilience Come From?

Feder, A., Nestler, E., & Charney, D. (2009). Psychobiology and molecular genetics of resilience. Nat Rev Neuroscience, 10(6), 446-457

Grotberg, E.H. (2002). The international resilience project: Findings from the research and the effectiveness of interventions. 

Reivich, K., & Shatté, A. (2003). The resilience factor: 7 keys to finding your inner strength and overcoming life’s hurdles. New York: Broadway Books.

Werner, E.E. and Smith, R.S. Journeys from childhood to midlife: Risk resilience and recovery. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. 2001

Wolin, S. J., & Wolin, S. (1993). The resilient self: how survivors of troubled families rise above adversity. New York: Villard Books.

Amygdala Hijack (GoFreeze!):

Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.

LeDoux, J. (2007). The Amygdala. Current Biology, 17(20), R868- R874

GoGlove! Empathy:

Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.

Gottman, J. M., & DeClaire, J. (1998). Raising an emotionally intelligent child. New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster.

GoLight! Strengths:

Fox, J. (2008). Your child’s strengths: discover them, develop them, use them. New York: Viking.

Peterson, C. (2006). A primer in positive psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. New York: Oxford University Press/Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

GoMap! Goal-setting:

Latham, G. P., Winters, D., & Locke, E. (1994). Cognitive and motivational effects of participation: A mediator study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 15, 49-63.

Locke, L. A., & Latham, G. P. (2002). Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation. American Psychologist, 57(9), 705-717.

Levitt, M. J. (1978). The effect of response contingent feedback on infants’ reactions to a stranger. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University.

GoSphere! Control and Mastery:

Seligman, M. E. (1972). Learned helplessness. Annual Review of Medicine, 207 412.

Seligman, M. E., Reivich, K., Jaycox, L., & Gillham, J. (1995). The optimistic child. Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin

Learned Helplessness & Learned Optimism:

Seligman, M. E. (1972). Learned helplessness. Annual Review of Medicine, 207 412.

Seligman, M. E. (1991). Learned optimism. New York: A.A. Knopf.

Pub Anecdote:

Cameron, K. S., Dutton, J. E., & Quinn, R. E. (2003). Positive organizational scholarship: foundations of a new discipline. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.

Strengths:

American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

Lounsbury, J. W., Fisher, L. A., Levy, J. J., & Welsh, D. P. (2009). An investigation of character strengths in relation to the academic success of college students. Individual Differences Research, 7(1), 52-69.

Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (1999). Relation of hope to self-perception. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 88, 535-540.

Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2009). Character strengths: Research and practice. Journal of College and Character, 10(4), np.

Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: a handbook and classification. New York: Oxford University Press/Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

Peterson, C. (2006). A primer in positive psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Seligman, M. E. (2002). Authentic happiness: using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York: Free Press.

Seligman, M. E. P., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60, 410–421.

VIA Institute on Character website: http://www.viacharacter.org

Grit:

Duckworth, A.L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1087-1101.

Duckworth, A.L., Seligman, M.E.P.S. (2005). Self-Discipline Outdoes IQ in Predicting Academic Performance of Adolescents. Psychological Science, 16, 939-944.

Mindsets:

Dweck, C. S. (1999). Caution-praise can be dangerous. American Educator, 23(1), 4-9.

Dweck, C. (2002). Messages that motivate: How praise molds students’ beliefs, motivation, and performance (in surprising ways). In J. Aronson (Ed.), Improving Academic Achievement: Impact of Psychological Factors on Education (Educational Psychology), (pp. 37-60). San Diego, CA, US: Academic Press.

Dweck, C. (2007). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Ballantine Books.

GoStrengths! Module 8-10 References

Gratitude:

Emmons, R. (2007) Thanks!: How the new science of gratitude can make you happier. Boston: Houghton Mifflan Company.

Brickman, P., Coates, D., Janoff-Bulman, R. (1978). Lottery Winners and Accident Victims: Is Happiness Relative? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 36 (8) p. 917-927

Hedonic Treadmill:

Diener, E., Lucas, R.E., Scollon, C. N. (2006) Beyond the Hedonic Treadmill. American Psychologist, Vol. 61 (4)., p. 305-314

Flow:

Csiksentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper Perennial.

Kindness:

Fowler, J.H., Christakis, N.A.. (2010). Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 107

Lyubomirsky, S. (2008). The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want. New York: Penguin Books.

Optimism:

Schneider, S. (2001). In search of realistic optimism: Meaning, knowledge, and warm fuzziness. American Psychologist. 56, 3, 250-263.

Positive Reunions:

Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (1999). The seven principles for making marriage work. New York: Crown Publishers.

Active Constructive Responding:

Gable, S. L., Reis, H. T., Impett, E., & Asher, E. R. (2004). What do you do when things go right? The intrapersonal and interpersonal benefits of sharing positive events. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 228-245.

Curiosity:

Dossey, L. (2009). The power of premonitions: how knowing the future can shape our lives. London: Hay House.

Gallup Poll – gallup.com/poll/wellbeing

Kashdan, T. (2009). Curious?: discover the missing ingredient to a fulfilling life. New York: William Morrow.

Swan GE, Carmelli D. Curiosity and mortality in aging adults: a 5-year follow-up of the Western Collaborative Group Study. PsycholAging 1996; 11: 449-53.

High quality connections:

Dutton, J. (2003). Energize your workplace: How to create and sustain high-quality connections at work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Roseto:

Wolf, S., & Bruhn, J. G. (1993). The power of clan: the influence of human relationships on heart disease. New Brunswick, N.J.U.S.A.: Transaction Publishers.

Social support benefits:

Uchino, B. N., Cacioppo, J. T., & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. (1996). The relationship between social support and physiological processes: a review with emphasis on underlying mechanisms and implications for health. Psychological Bulletin, 119(3), 488-531.

Creative Visualization:

Iqbal, Y., (2007). Waking up the brain after a stroke. American College of Physicians Online.

Liggett, D. R., & Hamada, S. (1993). Enhancing the visualization of gymnasts. The American journal of clinical hypnosis.

Munroe-Chandler K, Hall C, Fishburne G (2008) Playing with confidence: The relationship between imagery use and self-confidence in youth soccer players. Journal of Sports Sciences.

Goal-setting:

Klein, H., Wesson, M., Hollenbeck, J., & Alge, B. (1999). Goal commitment and the goal-setting process: Conceptual clarification and empirical synthesis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84, 885-896.

Latham, G. P., Winters, D., & Locke, E. (1994). Cognitive and motivational effects of participation: A mediator study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 15, 49-63.

Locke, L. A., & Latham, G. P. (2002). Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task motivation. American Psychologist, 57(9), 705-717.

Matsui, T., Okada, A., & Inoshita, O. (1983). Mechanism of feedback affecting task performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 31, 114-122.

Making Lists:

Canfield, J., & Switzer, J. (2005). The success principles: how to get from where you are to where you want to be. New York: Harper Resource Book.

Holtz, L. (2006). Wins, losses, and lessons: an autobiography. New York: Wm. Morrow.

Lester, T. (2011). Da Vinci’s ghost. London: Profile.

Mental contrasting:

Duckworth, A. L., H. Grant, et al. (2010). Self-regulation strategies improve self-discipline in adolescents: benefits of mental contrasting and implementation intentions. Educational Psychology, 110.

Gollwitzer, P. M. and P. Sheeran (2006). Implementation intentions and goal achievement: A meta-analysis of effects and processes. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. 38, 69-119.

Oettingen, G., D. Mayer, et al. (2009). Mental Contrasting and Goal Commitment: The Mediating Role of Energization. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 35(5), 608-622.

Oettingen, G., D. Mayer, et al. (2010). Self-regulation of commitment to reduce cigarette consumption: Mental contrasting of future with reality. Psychology & Health 25(8), 961 – 977.

GoHackify! Academic References

GoHackify! References

Baumeister, R. F., Bratslavsky, E., Finkenauer, C., & Vohs, K. D. (2001). Bad is stronger than good. Review of General Psychology, 5(4), 323–370.

Beck, A. T. (1963). Thinking and depression: Idiosyncratic content and cognitive distortions. Archives of General Psychiatry, 9(4), 324–333.

Chansky, T. E. (2000). Freeing your child from obsessive-compulsive disorder: A powerful, practical program for parents of children and adolescents. New York, NY: Crown.

Character strengths, personal development: VIA character. (2017). Latest News. http://www.viacharacter.org/www/

Einstein, D. A., & Menzies, R. G. (2004). The presence of magical thinking in obsessive compulsive disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42(5), 539–549.

Facts & Statistics. (2016). https://www.adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics

Foa, E. B., & Chambless, D. L. (1978). Habituation of subjective anxiety during flooding in imagery. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 16(6), 391–399.

Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K., & Wilson, K. G. (1999). Acceptance and commitment therapy: an experiential approach to behavior change. New York: The Guilford Press.

Hershfield, J., Corboy, T., & Claiborn, J. (2013). The mindfulness workbook for OCD: a guide to overcoming obsessions and compulsions using mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Kazdin, A. E., & Rotella, C. (2008). The Kazdin method for parenting the defiant child: With no pills, no therapy, no contest of wills. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Keough, M. E., Riccardi, C. J., Timpano, K. R., Mitchell, M. A., & Schmidt, N. B. (2010). Anxiety symptomatology: The association with distress tolerance and anxiety sensitivity. Behavior Therapy, 41(4), 567–574.

Kubitz, K. A., Landers, D. M., Petruzzello, S. J., & Han, M. (1996). The effects of acute and chronic exercise on sleep. Sports Medicine, 21(4), 277–291.

Lang, P. J., Melamed, B. G., & Hart, J. (1970). A psychophysiological analysis of fear modification using an automated desensitization procedure. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 76(2), 220–234.

March, J. S., & Benton, C. M. (2007). Talking back to OCD: The program that helps kids and teens say “no way”—and parents say “way to go.” New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Masuda, A., Hayes, S. C., Sackett, C. F., & Twohig, M. P. (2004). Cognitive defusion and self-relevant negative thoughts: Examining the impact of a ninety year old technique. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42(4), 477–485.

OCD Facts. (2017). http://www.ocdeducationstation.org/ocd-facts/incidence-of-ocd

Oettingen, G. (2014). Rethinking positive thinking: Inside the new science of motivation. New York, NY: Current.

Peters, M. L., Flink, I. K., Boersma, K., & Linton, S. J. (2010). Manipulating optimism: Can imagining a best possible self be used to increase positive future expectancies? Journal of Positive Psychology, 5(3), 204–211.

Reivich, K., & Shatté, A. (2002). The resilience factor: 7 essential skills for overcoming life’s inevitable obstacles. New York, NY: Broadway Books.

Seligman, M. E. (2016). Homo prospectus. New York: Oxford University Press.

Van der Kolk, B. A. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. New York, NY: Viking.

Wegner, D. M., Schneider, D. J., Carter, S. R., & White, T. L. (1987). Paradoxical effects of thought suppression. Journal of personality and social psychology, 53(1), 5.

Williams, M., & Penman, D. (2011). Mindfulness: An eight-week plan for finding peace in a frantic world. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Books.

Zohar, A. H. (1999). The epidemiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder in children and adolescents. Child and adolescent psychiatric clinics of North America.

More on the Science of Positive Psychology

Research from the field of positive psychology has laid the foundation for the GoStrengths! and GoZen! philosophy and programs. Positive psychology offers a balance to traditional psychology by going on beyond disease and disorder to focus on what is “right” with humanoids.

In the words of Chris Peterson, a pioneer in the field, “The most basic assumption that positive psychology urges is that human goodness and excellence are as authentic as disease, disorder and distress.” Watch the video to learn more.

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Why teach our kids social and emotional learning skills?

landmark review (pdf) of over 213 social and emotional learning interventions including over 270,034 kindergarten through high school students found that those students who receive SEL instruction not only had more positive attitudes about school, they also improved an average of 11 percent on standardized achievement tests compared to students who did not receive such instruction.

SEL Matters

More questions on the science behind the programs? Email us at go@gozen.com. We’d love to chat with you!