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A local community course that raises mental wellbeing and pro-sociality

Krekel, Christian, De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel, Fancourt, Daisy and Layard, Richard (2020) A local community course that raises mental wellbeing and pro-sociality. CEP Discussion Papers (1671). Centre for Economic Performance, LSE, London, UK.

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Abstract

Although correlates of mental wellbeing have been extensively studied, relatively little is known about how to effectively raise mental wellbeing in local communities by means of intervention. We conduct a randomised controlled trial of the "Exploring What Matters" course, a scalable social-psychological intervention aimed at raising general adult population mental wellbeing and pro-sociality. The manualised course is run by non-expert volunteers in their local communities and to date has been conducted in more than 26 countries around the world. We find that it has strong, positive causal effects on participants' selfreported subjective wellbeing (life satisfaction increases by about 63% of a standard deviation) and prosociality (social trust increases by about 53% of a standard deviation) while reducing measures of mental ill health (PHQ-9 and GAD-7 decrease by about 50% and 42% of a standard deviation, respectively). Impacts seem to be sustained two months post-treatment. We complement self-reported outcomes with biomarkers collected through saliva samples, including cortisol and a range of cytokines involved in inflammatory response. These move consistently into the hypothesised direction but are noisy and do not reach statistical significance at conventional levels

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: https://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/discussion...
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
JEL classification: C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C9 - Design of Experiments > C93 - Field Experiments
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I12 - Health Production: Nutrition, Mortality, Morbidity, Suicide, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Disability, and Economic Behavior
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I31 - General Welfare; Basic Needs; Living Standards; Quality of Life; Happiness
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2021 14:00
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2021 01:23
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/108226

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