Adolescents are disproportionately affected by mental health conditions (Vimpani, Patton, & Hayes, 2002), and one of the key missions of this century is to create a science
of human strengths (Seligman & Peterson, 2001) by better understanding those factors that contribute to positive life outcomes for young people. The Broaden-and-Build
Theory of positive emotions (Fredrickson, 1998) provided a framework for examining the relationship between positive emotions and psychological well-being in Australian
adolescents. This theory asserts that positive emotions exist to solve problems concerned with personal growth and development, and that positive emotions produce upward
spirals of well-being. Study 1 investigated the hypothesis that the variables Broadened Mindset, Self-Efficacy, and Life Meaning mediated the relationship between Positive
Affect and Life Satisfaction. Data indicated that Broadened Mindset and Self-Efficacy variables partially mediated this relationship. These findings support Fredrickson’s
Broaden-and-Build theory, as well as previous research linking feelings of self-efficacy to psychological well-being (Bandura, 1992). Study 2 examined the effect of a youth program, the National Leadership Camp (NLC, Rising Generations, 2006), on participants’ levels of Life Satisfaction, Positive Affect, Broadened Mindset, and Self-
Efficacy over a 3 month period. It was found that participants attending the NLC had significantly higher levels of Life Satisfaction, Positive Affect, and Broadened Mindset following attendance at the NLC; however these significant gains were not maintained over a three month time period. This data suggests that the youth program succeeded in influencing adolescent well-being briefly, however further research is required to investigate how to maintain these improvements in the long-term.