Promoting daily well-being in adolescents using mhealth

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Adolescents are at increased risk for developing mental health problems. The Grow It! app is an mHealth intervention aimed at preventing mental health problems through improving coping by cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-inspired challenges as well as self-monitoring of emotions through Experience Sampling Methods (ESM). Yet, little is known about daily changes in well-being and coping during a stressful period, like the COVID-19 pandemic. The current study aimed to elucidate daily changes in positive and negative affect, and adaptive coping, and to better understand the within-person's mechanisms of the Grow It! app. The sample consisted of 12-25-year old Dutch adolescents in two independent cohorts (cohort 1: N = 476, Mage = 16.24, 76.1% female, 88.7% Dutch; cohort 2: N = 814, Mage = 18.45, 82.8% female, 97.2% Dutch). ESM were used to measure daily positive and negative affect and coping (cohort 1: 42 days, 210 assessments per person; cohort 2: 21 days, 105 assessments). The results showed that, on average, adolescents decreased in daily positive affect and adaptive coping, and increased in their experienced negative affect. A positive relation between adaptive coping and positive affect was found, although independent of the CBT-based challenges. Latent class analysis identified two heterogeneous trajectories for both positive and negative affect, indicating that the majority of participants with low to moderate-risk on developing mental health problems were likely to benefit from the Grow It! app.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2173-2189
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number11
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jul 2022

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