SUCCESS Materials – English

Positivity – Theoretical Background – Positive Connections

Positive Connections:

Positive connections are experienced when individuals feel loved, supported and satisfied with their relationships (Butler & Kern, 2016). Other researchers have also described positive relationships as those that make an individual feel socially integrated and cared by others (Kern, Waters, Adler & White, 2015). Thus, when we refer to Positive Connections, attention is focused around the quality of interpersonal relationships. Positive interpersonal relationships that are characterised as warm and trusting are an important component of a fulfilling and meaningful life.

More specifically, positive relationships have been associated with the maintenance of good physical health (Cohen, Gottlieb & Underwood, 2000; House, Landis & Umberson, 1988), better psychological wellbeing and mental health (Ryan & Deci, 2001; Ryff, 1989), lower levels of psychological distress (Umberson, Chen, House, Hopkins & Slaten, 1996), reduced risk of mortality , reduced risk of psychiatric and physical morbidity, as well improved adaptation to and recovery from certain diseases (Cohen, Gottlieb & Underwood, 2000).

The need for strong interpersonal relationships is also emphasised in the PERMA theory model proposed by Seligman (2018), where, Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment are outlined as essential contributors to one’s general well-being.