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Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is a movement in psychology that focuses on people’s strengths and virtues and on psychological factors that are thought to lead to positive outcomes. Much of the research in the field has focused on healthy relationships and families. Positive psychology investigates the elements of successful relationships such as forgiveness, compassion, gratitude, attachment, and altruism. This entry discusses significant concepts in the field of positive psychology and the conditions that allow families to flourish. In this entry, the terms flourishing and happy are used interchangeably to denote a “healthy” family.

Studies pertaining to families, marriages, and couples often explore dysfunctions and pathology, while less is known about families with regard to psychological functioning, positive resources, and well-being. Although it is important to address the needs ...

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