Subjective Well‐Being Intervention Program by Lenz et al.


The article by Lenz et al. (2020) examines the relationship between a subjective well-being intervention program (SWIP) and the protective psychological factors among students in elementary school. The authors conducted embedded mixed-methods research to evaluate the Individual Protective Factors Index (IPFI) and the Satisfaction With Life Scale for Children (SWLC) measures. Ultimately, the experiment demonstrated a positive correlation between SWIP and IPFI/SWLC outcomes.


The Independent Variable

In the current study, the independent variable was the SWIP process implemented by the research group. The independent variable generally refers to the controlling factor that directly affects the experiment results. In this case, the authors tried to understand the impact of the SWIP on the children’s protective factors, implying that the SWIP was the independent variable.

The Dependent Variable

Consequently, the IPFI and the SWLC were the dependent variables since they were affected by the independent variable. The participants’ protective factors changed as a result of the experiment. It implies that the authors achieved their objective, and the SWIP process significantly affected the children, making IPFI/SWLC dependent variables.

The Research Question

The primary research question was to examine the degree to which the SWIP affected protective factors, such as the IPFI and the SWLC. The secondary research question was to identify the relevant themes and experiences regarding the experiment as perceived by the participants. The list included emotional expression, self-discovery, empathy, and other characteristics.

The Two Instruments Used in a Pretest and Posttest

The two instruments used in a pretest were a demographic questionnaire and a preintervention administration of the examined protective factors. Consequently, the two tools used in a posttest were a postintervention administration and focus groups. The latter referred to group interviews with the participants to identify relevant themes and experiences according to the second research question.

The Internal Consistency Score of the Instruments

The internal consistency score measures the overall consistency of the test based on various inputs. During the pretest intervention, the authors identified a good internal consistency score (α =.83/.86) in the IPFI and the SWLC samples. These results demonstrate that the used scales are effective tools for evaluating protective factors.

T Score

T score is a statistical metric that reveals the significant differences in the samples, which allows comparing the initial measures with the outcomes and is crucial for researchers. In the current project, the t score demonstrated that the IPFI and the SWLC characteristics at the end of the experiment were significantly improved compared to the pretest administration values.

The Confounding Variables

The primary confounding variable was the self-reported nature of the IPFI/SWLC measures. In other words, since the participants had to conduct self-evaluations, it could have significantly affected the eventual outcomes and the researchers’ perceptions of the SWIP effectiveness. Ultimately, it was the current project’s major limitation and confounding variable.

The Qualitative Dimension of the Project

The qualitative dimension concerned the second research question, including the thematic analysis of self-reported experiences. The quantitative dimension incorporated the statistical evaluation of the examined metrics and the comparison of the eventual outcomes with the pretest values. In summary, the mixed-methods design that incorporated the two approaches was beneficial for the experiment.

Both dimensions contributed to the SWIP evaluation since the authors converged the two approaches, resulting in a comprehensive, in-depth analysis. This model allowed to identify the primary research areas and evaluate the SWIP model in greater detail. The quantitative part revealed the statistical differences, while the qualitative approach identified the relevant themes and experiences.

A researcher would use the SWIP in other schools and settings since the examined article has several limitations regarding the participant samples. Namely, the sample consisted of thirty-four students, primarily of Hispanic and Caucasian identities. It might be beneficial for research purposes to expand the sample and include people from other cultural and racial backgrounds to ensure diversity.


The examined article has thoroughly evaluated the effectiveness of the SWIP on the protective factors among students in elementary school. Using the mixed-methods research design, it demonstrated the positive correlation between the SWIP and the IPFI/SWLC outcomes.


Lenz, A. S., Gerlach, J., Dell’Aquila, J., & Pester, D. (2020). A mixed‐methodological evaluation of a subjective well‐being intervention program with elementary‐age students. Journal of Counseling & Development, 98(2), 200-206.

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