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Positive psychology interventions in a multi-ethnic and cross-cultural context
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Citation for published version (APA): Hendriks, T. (2018). Positive psychology interventions in a multi-ethnic and cross-cultural context.
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Download date: 27 Aug 2020
POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY INTERVENTIONS
IN A MULTI-ETHNIC AND
This thesis was prepared at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of
Social Sciences, Anton de Kom University of Suriname, in a
cooperation with the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science,
University of Amsterdam.
Please cite as:
Hendriks, T. (2018). Positive psychology interventions in a multi-
ethnic and cross-cultural context. (Dissertation). Amsterdam,
University of Amsterdam.
© 2018 by T. Hendriks
All rights reserved. No part of this thesis may be produced, stored in a
retrieval center of any nature, or transmitted, in any form or by any
means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise
without the permission of the author.
Design cover by Dulcy Oudsten & Consuela Esseboom
Printed by Gildeprint Drukkerijen, the Netherlands
POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY INTERVENTIONS IN A MULTI-ETHNIC
AND CROSS-CULTURAL CONTEXT
ter verkrijging van de graad van doctor
aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam
op gezag van de Rector Magnificus
prof. dr. ir. K.I.J. Maex
ten overstaan van een door het College voor Promoties ingestelde commissie,
in het openbaar te verdedigen in de Agnietenkapel
op donderdag 1 november 2018, te 10:00 uur
door Tom Hendriks
geboren te Veldhoven
Prof. dr. J.T.V.M. de Jong Universiteit van Amsterdam
Prof. dr. T.L.G. Graafsma Anton de Kom Universiteit van Suriname
Dr. M. Schotanus-Dijkstra Universiteit Twente
Prof. dr. A.H. Fisher Universiteit van Amsterdam
Prof. dr. A.C. Homan Universiteit van Amsterdam
Prof. dr. A.J. Pols Universiteit van Amsterdam
Prof. dr. M. Bartels Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Prof. dr. J.A. Walburg Universiteit Twente
Prof. dr. J.B. Rijsman Tilburg Universiteit
Faculteit der Maatschappij-- en Gedragswetenschappen
7 Chapter 1 General introduction
Part I - Positive psychology interventions in cross-cultural perspective 33 Chapter 2 How WEIRD are positive psychology interventions? A
bibliometric analysis of randomized controlled trials on the science of well-being
61 Chapter 3 The efficacy of multi-component positive psychology
interventions: A meta-analysis and systematic review
97 Chapter 4 The efficacy of positive psychology interventions in non-
Western countries: A meta-analysis and systematic review Part II – Positive psychology in a multi-ethnic context: Resilience and mental well-being in Suriname 135 Chapter 5 Strengths and virtues and the development of resilience: A
qualitative study in Suriname during a time of economic crisis 155 Chapter 6 Psychological resilience and mental well-being in a multi-
ethnic context: Findings from a randomized controlled trial 185 Chapter 7 Mediators of a cultural adapted positive psychology
intervention aimed at increasing well-being and resilience. Part III - Yoga as a cultural sensitive positive intervention 215 Chapter 8
The effects of yoga on positive mental health among healthy adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis
243 Chapter 9 The effects of Sahaja Yoga meditation on mental health:
A systematic review 265 Chapter 10 General discussion 295 Samenvatting (Summary in Dutch) 301 Publications 305 Dankwoord (Acknowledgements in Dutch) 311 About the author
Even a happy life cannot be without a
measure of darkness, and the word
happy would lose its meaning if it were
not balanced by sadness. It is far better
take things as they come along with
patience and equanimity.
Carl Gustav Jung
Chapter 1 General introduction
Since its independence from the Netherlands in 1975, the Republic of Suriname
has experienced a turbulent development. Periods of freedom and democracy
alternated with periods when freedom was limited and democracy was flawed.
Times of economic prosperity were followed by severe economic crises. Over the
past 40 years, the Surinamese population has ridden through many peaks and
troughs. In 2015, after nearly a decade of growth, the economy plunged into a
deep recession, devaluing the monetary value of the Surinamese dollar by over
100%. In addition, democracy in Suriname may currently also be in danger. Events
in the recent history of Suriname have probably put the resilience of the
Surinamese people to the test.
The main goal of this thesis is to explore if a so-called positive psychology
intervention (PPI) can contribute to increased resilience and mental well-being
among healthy adults in Suriname. I will also bring yoga meditation as a possible
additional positive intervention into the limelight of positive psychology.
The thesis is divided into three parts, each addressing distinct goals. The goals of
the first part of this thesis are to determine to what extent PPIs are Western-
centric and to explore the efficacy of PPIs both generally and in non-Western
countries in particular. In the second part, I aim to determine the efficacy of a
culturally adapted PPI that was conducted in Suriname and to report on possible
mediators of the PPI we tested. In addition, I will discuss what strengths and
virtues among the ethnic groups in Suriname contribute to increased resilience
and well-being. In the third part, the goal is to examine the feasibility of yoga
meditation as a culturally sensitive positive intervention in Suriname.
Resilience and well-being are multi-dimensional constructs that are influenced by
socio-economic, cultural, and even historic factors (Gunderson, 2010; Holling,
1973). To clarify the recent challenges that the Surinamese population has been
facing, general information on the Republic of Suriname and its history will firstly
be provided in this general introduction. Then, I will briefly discuss the two main
outcomes of the core study of this thesis, namely, resilience and well-being. Next,
a brief history of positive psychology is presented, including criticism of the
movement from cross-cultural researchers, followed by an overview of the
development of positive psychology in Suriname. I will then briefly discuss positive
psychology interventions and describe how I culturally adapted the intervention
that I developed and tested in Suriname. A plea for yoga as a positive (psychology)
intervention will then be made, before the general introduction is concluded with
the outline of the thesis.
Suriname: A multi-ethnic nation under stress
The quantitative and qualitative studies that are presented in this thesis were
conducted among participants in Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname. Suriname is
a country located in the north-east of South America, above Brazil and between
Guyana and French Guyana. Suriname is a multi-ethnic society that consists of
Afro-Surinamese (Creoles 31% and Maroons 10%), Hindustani (37%), Javanese
(15%), Amerindians (2%), Chinese (2%), and other ethnic groups (3%) (The World
Factbook, 2016). It is a plural society where people from many different origins
and religions peacefully coexist, perhaps because no single ethnic grou