This relationship aspect of the PERMA framework involves recognizing that “other people matter” and building character strengths of teamwork, love and kindness (Seligman, 2011, p.20; Wagner et al., 2019). Having positive relationships can be a significant factor in improving wellbeing. In one study addressing the impact of school relationships on wellbeing, students from all grade levels shared that positive peer friendships played a significant role in their wellbeing (Graham et al., 2016). Students participating in the study felt that positive peer and teacher relationships provided them a sense of safety and trust, as well as contributed to feelings of happiness. However, negative relationships, such as peer conflict and bullying negatively contributed to their wellbeing. Most students shared that what is most important to them in relationships with peers and teachers is feeling cared for, respected and valued(Graham et al., 2016). The interventions in this section are intended to promote positive relationships by helping students develop social skills that will allow them to “better connect and share with others” (Falecki et al., 2018, p.104).
Falecki, D., Leach, C., & Green, S. (2018). PERMA-powered coaching. In S. Green, & S. Palmer (Eds.), Positive psychology coaching in practice. New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315716169.
Graham, A., Powell, M.A. & Truscott, J. (2016) Facilitating student well-being: relationships do matter. Educational Research, 58(4), 366-383, https://doi.org/10.1080/00131881.2016.122884.
Seligman, M. (2011). Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Wagner, L., Gander, F., Proyer, R., & Ruch, W. (2019). Character strengths and PERMA: Investigating the relationship of character strengths with a multidimensional framework of wellbeing. Applied Research in Quality of Life. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-018-9695-z