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Positive psychology tested

In an Australian first, two NSW schools will take part in a Harvard University-based trial of positive psychology programs aimed at improving student wellbeing. The study's lead researcher, Dr Suzy Green from the University of Sydney's Coaching Psychology Unit said the use of positive psychology in education is a relatively new field, but one in which Australia is developing a reputation as a world leader. Green said the researchers had recruited 105 students who will be assigned to two different positive psychology programs in a randomised controlled trial. The goal was to find out if one approach is more effective at reducing students' anxiety, stress and depression, and increasing students' sense of well being. Students will take part in 10 group sessions over two terms. Some groups will focus on setting individual and academic goals, while other groups will focus on positive psychology activities based around gratitude, kindness and forgiveness. The trial at, North Sydney Girls High and North Sydney Boys High will start next term with Year 11 students.

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