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    Positive psychology interventions in a multi-ethnic and cross-cultural context

    Hendriks, T.

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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





    Tom Hendriks

  • 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.

    ISBN: 978-94-632-3374-3

    © 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




    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

  • Promotor:

    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

    Overige leden:

    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

  • Content

    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

  • 7

    Chapter 1 General introduction

  • 8

    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

  • 9

    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