Positive Transition to University: Evaluating an App-Based Positive Psychology Intervention with UK First Year Undergraduate Students.

Published: 18 December 2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/xtn553th4d.1
Roger Bretherton,


Abstract Starting university is a key life transition, and a potential source of psychological distress in first year university students. Those who manage the university transition effectively report high levels of optimism, hope, self-efficacy, emotional intelligence and self-regulation. This study evaluated the effect of an app-based positive psychology intervention (PPI) delivered to undergraduates within the first semester of university. 92 first year university students were randomly allocated to an app-based PPI (n = 46) or an active control journaling condition (n = 46) for six weeks. The PPI condition reported significant increases in life satisfaction after three and six weeks of the intervention; plus, significant increases in positive affect and self-efficacy, and decreases in negative affect after six weeks. The findings and limitations of the study are examined with reference to the concept of mental fitness. App-based PPIs are presented as a scalable cost-effective approach to supporting student transition to university.



University of Lincoln College of Social Sciences


University Student, Emotion, Intervention, Self-Efficacy, Life Satisfaction, Positive Psychology