Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Theodore Bartholomew

Reader 2

Stacey Wood


Homeless adolescents in families are at a higher risk of developing psychological disorders and having poorer mental health compared to their non-homeless peers due to increased trauma and stress in their environments. Positive psychology research on subjective well-being offers a framework to address mental health and life skill deficits in the homeless youth population. This study proposes a 10-week group intervention program in family shelters that provides constructive activities and reflections focusing on improving well-being, self-esteem, optimism, social relationships, and life skills. After the implementation of these interventions, participants will report increased levels of subjective well-being, self-esteem, optimism, and social support immediately after finishing the program, in a 3 month follow-up, and in a 6 month follow-up. Predicted results shows that this intervention program is effective in increasing all measures in post-test and 3 month follow-up assessments, while decreasing perceived stress reports. However, this intervention will not be effective in maintaining these improvements after the 6 month follow-up assessment, when scores begin returning to baseline levels. This research contributes to short-term methods of improving subjective well-being in homeless youth populations and highlights the importance of incorporating mental health resources from a positive psychology perspective.