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Positive Psychology Applied to Education in Practicing Teachers during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Personal Resources, Well-Being, and Teacher Training

Diego García-Álvarez
María José Soler
Rubia Cobo-Rendón
4 and
Juan Hernández-Lalinde
Departamento de Ciencias del Comportamiento, Universidad Metropolitana, Caracas 1073, Venezuela
Centro de Estudios de Psicología, Universidad de Montevideo, Montevideo 11600, Uruguay
Asociación Jóvenes Fuertes Uruguay, Montevideo 11500, Uruguay
Facultad de Psicología, Universidad del Desarrollo, Concepción 4030000, Chile
Facultad de Ciencias Básicas y Biomédicas, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Cúcuta 540001, Colombia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11728;
Submission received: 12 July 2022 / Revised: 17 August 2022 / Accepted: 29 August 2022 / Published: 19 September 2022


Teaching has often been linked to psychosocial problems, and is an occupation in which the implementation of strategies for the improvement, updating and promotion of the mental health of those involved is essential. Accordingly, this study assessed the effectiveness of a program aimed at improving psychological well-being, optimism, self-efficacy, and self-esteem as well as at reducing psychological distress in teachers. The study was quasi-experimental and comprised 24 teachers from technical, secondary, and elementary schools in Uruguay. The constructs were measured before and after the program, which was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic and comprised 12 modules in a multicomponent intervention format. The results indicate a significantly low magnitude increase in well-being (F = 5.36, p = 0.033, Cohen’s d = 0.47) and a moderate increase in self-efficacy (F = 9.14, p = 0.008, Cohen’s d = 0.62). Similarly, a significant decrease was observed in psychological distress of mild effect (F = 5.80, p = 0.028, Cohen’s d = 0.49). To conclude, interventions based on positive psychology improve teachers’ well-being, enhance other psychological resources, and reduce psychosocial risks such as discomfort. Thus, these interventions can be devices for career development and teacher updating.

1. Introduction

One of the pillars facilitating quality education is the development of teachers’ emotional competencies. Accordingly, efforts are being made to develop practices to improve teacher well-being [1]. In addition, the member states of the United Nations presented 17 sustainable development goals in 2015. These goals correspond to a plan of action in favor of the planet and people. Of these 17 goals, the fourth goal corresponds to the scope of quality education. By 2030, education at different levels is expected to be equitable in terms of quality, thereby ensuring relevant and effective learning [2]. This is because quality education can be the key lever for the sustainable development of countries, in addition to being a crucial aspect for the growth of today’s society [3]. Therefore, working with teachers is crucial considering that they are the main drivers of educational change [4]. Teachers with high levels of well-being and adequate emotional competencies can effectively apply their teaching and learning processes [5].
In this case, well-being is a broad, multidimensional construct that includes affection, life satisfaction, happiness, engagement with others, personal growth, meaning, and life functioning [6]. Well-being can be examined from two philosophies: subjective or hedonic well-being and psychological or eudaimonic well-being [7,8,9]. Psychological well-being is associated with positive psychological functioning. Psychological well-being is conceptualized and measured in terms of some set or combination of psychological elements such as autonomy, purpose, meaning, or bonds [10,11].
Recently, research on well-being at the workplace has become a relevant topic. This is because examining well-being is essential to understand its effects on health, work behavior, and performance [12]. In the educational context, various studies have reported that teacher well-being influences their own mental health, type of teaching practices used, and student learning [13].

Positive Psychological Resources and Proposals for Their Promotion among Teachers

Within the paradigm of positive psychology, a variety of resources and personal strengths promoting well-being and mental health have been proposed, such as character strengths, optimism, self-efficacy, and self-esteem [14,15,16]. Character strengths are positively valued traits expected to contribute to a good life [14]. A character strength is a trait or attribute morally valued on its own, even by parents who want their children to acquire the trait; contributes to fulfillment and a good life; is universally valued across cultures, religions, and philosophies; is an observable and measurable element; and is characterized by being different from other similar traits [17].
Numerous studies have confirmed the solid relation between character strengths and well-being [18]. Thus, character strength is considered an important resource in the general community. In terms of the effect of interventions on this topic, a systematic review has indicated that interventions on character strengths positively contribute to different areas of people’s lives, which justifies its application in different contexts [19] and in the educational field for teachers to improve work resources such as job satisfaction, teacher engagement, and the reduction of psychological-occupational risks such as burnout [20,21].
Furthermore, optimism is another positive psychological resource that has been extensively studied due to its predictive capacity with various aspects of mental health. Optimism can be defined as a personality trait or tendency of people to expect favorable and positive results from life events, resulting in a general expectation with a positive assessment about life, with its opposite being pessimism [22,23]. In this case, optimists are confident and persistent regarding the achievement of their goals [24]. Optimists use external attributions, of short duration and of specific influence over negative situations, unlike pessimists, who show more global and generalized attributions about events [25,26].
In terms of general health, a systematic review has reported that optimism is associated with a lower mortality risk, indicating that this pattern of functioning motivates people to engage in healthy behaviors [26]. In the educational context, optimism has been observed in teachers. Further, at a specific level, optimism does not vary between men and women [27]. This finding coincides with research in the general population, where small differences have been observed between men and women, indicating a small effect size [28,29]. Optimism and self-efficacy have been identified as enhancers of the teaching career in their effect on career adaptability and are considered learning-sensitive intervention pathways [30].
Another important psychological characteristic for the development of well-being is self-efficacy beliefs. Self-efficacy belief is understood as the belief in one’s own abilities to adequately perform a task, with implications for motivation, regulation, and reinforcement of behavior according to the desired performance [31]. In this sense, research on teachers has revealed that personality characteristics and self-efficacy are strongly associated with quality teaching performance [32,33]. Research has indicated that self-efficacy is an important psychic resource related to satisfaction, well-being, and proper management of job demands in teachers [34]. Further, research has revealed that teacher self-efficacy can be increased through professional development interventions and those based on positive psychology [35,36].
Similarly, another cognitive construct that has implications for well-being and teaching performance is self-esteem, defined as the general self-assessment that people make about how valuable, capable, and successful they can be [37]. This follows a set of cognitive maps that define how the individual will function and process their experiences [38]. Various studies on teachers have demonstrated that high levels of self-esteem are related to lower levels of burnout [39,40], less presence of negative emotions, and better strategies to cope with stress and the demands of daily life [1].
Furthermore, teachers with low self-esteem face other types of psychosocial problems linked to the immune system; therefore, people with low self-esteem are more vulnerable to developing illnesses and psychological problems such as anxiety or stress [1,40]. In this case, scientific evidence has shown that self-esteem can be considered a positive psychological resource for mitigating wear or exposure to stressful events [41]. This makes the availability of spaces or experiences relevant for teachers, allowing them to build positive self-esteem together with other resources. In terms of interventions, some studies have indicated that self-esteem can be improved through various pathways, including training, cognitive treatment, and involvement in activities [1].
Importantly, teachers should be able to promote their strengths, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and optimism as work resources and protective factors of psychological well-being that are in turn related to adequate teaching performance [42]. In addition, in terms of educational experience, teachers should be able to project and transmit their state of mind to their students. Thus, teachers should be able to work on the elements that make up psychic resources, such as their professional and personal development, achievement motivation, attitudes, and handling of external stimuli received [37].
Based on the aforementioned considerations, positive psychological interventions can be considered a strategy that facilitates well-being in people. A systematic review that analyzed the effectiveness of interventions in positive psychology evaluated 39 studies on psychological and subjective well-being and depression. The study analysis revealed that these types of interventions (self-help, individual therapy, and group training) effectively improved subjective and psychological well-being as well as reduced the symptoms of depression. Moreover, these interventions were sustainable over time [43]. Another more recent meta-analysis study on the topic, which assessed 347 studies on positive interventions, has evaluated the effect of programs with an average of 10 sessions offered in multiple formats and contexts. Significant effects of these programs were observed on the promotion of well-being and strengths, as well as on the reduction of depression, anxiety, and stress [44]. However, despite the existence of numerous studies on the efficacy of positive interventions in various contexts and populations, current evidence indicates the need to continue examining this aspect to strengthen the efficacy of these type of interventions [6,45].
In the context of teaching, research has demonstrated that teachers’ happiness and well-being correlate with student well-being and performance [12]. Therefore, this intervention sought to strengthen the professional practice of teachers in two ways: (a) promotion of mental health and reduction of psychological-occupational risks; and (b) didactic updating and teacher training. The research questions guiding this study were: what changes will occur in the levels of psychological well-being, optimism, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and psychological discomfort before and after training in positive psychology in an education context? We divided this question into two due to the crisis generated by COVID-19 during the development of the intervention: firstly, will the levels of psychological resources such as psychological well-being, optimism, self-efficacy, and self-esteem, increase or at least be maintained during the pandemic scenario? and, secondly, Will psychological discomfort decrease or at least remain at the same levels as at the beginning of the program? The second research question was: which teaching competencies were learned, developed, or strengthened in the training program to build the school as a sustainable ecosystem of well-being and health? These questions led us to formulate the following research objective. The general objective of this intervention was training educators to be capable of applying positive psychology in their personal and educational context in the pre-pandemic period until the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research objectives included the following: (1) to determine the changes in psychological well-being, optimism, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and psychological discomfort before and after the application of the program; and (2) to strengthen teaching skills to build the educational center as a sustainable ecosystem of well-being and health.

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Design

The research design was of a quasi-experimental type, with pre- and post measurements with a single group [46].

2.2. Participants

The sample comprised 24 teachers, of which 75% (n = 18) were women and the remaining 25% (n = 6) were men. Age ranged between 26 and 58 years, averaging 40.17 ± 8.85 (CV = 22.03%). The lower and upper quartiles were 34.25 and 48.25 years, respectively, with a median age of 38 years. According to the aforementioned considerations, the range would be 32 years, and the interquartile range would be 16 years. The mode was 35 years, the standardized skewness was 0.39, and standardized kurtosis was −0.99. No significant differences were observed in age according to sex (t = 0.05, df = 22, p = 0.959), with women reflecting values of 40.22 ± 8.70 (CV = 21.63%) and men reporting figures of 40.00 ± 10.14 (CV = 25.35%).

2.3. Measurement Instruments

2.3.1. Psychological Well-Being Scale

This was measured using the Psychological Well-Being Scale for Adults (BIEPS-A) [47], a four-dimensional measure comprising 13 items in a Likert scale with three options: 1 = disagree, 2 = neither agree nor disagree, and 3 = agree. This is a brief instrument administered in a timeframe ranging between 5 and 10 min, with factors identified as “self-acceptance and control of situations” (items 2, 11, and 13), “autonomy” (items 4, 9, and 12), “psychosocial ties” (items 5, 7, and 8), and “projects” (items 1, 3, 6, and 10). This questionnaire has been applied in various contexts, both in adult and adolescent populations, reporting adequate psychometric properties in terms of reliability, as well as factorial, convergent, and discriminant validity [47].

2.3.2. Optimism Scale

For optimism, it was decided to administer a Spanish version of the Life Orientation Test (LOT) [48]. This questionnaire comprises 10 items formulated in Likert format, structured as follows: 1 = completely disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neither agree nor disagree, 4 = agree, and 5 = completely agree. Its factorial structure responds to a two-dimensional arrangement: optimism, bringing together items 1, 4, and 10, and pessimism, including statements 3, 7, and 9. The remaining four items are used as distractors to conceal the objective of the test [48].

2.3.3. Self-Esteem Scale

The Spanish version of the instrument known as the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) was used [49,50]. It was designed as a unifactorial measure of 10 items, which, using a Likert-type structure with four options, tries to reproduce the participants’ positive and negative feelings about themselves. Answer options included the following: 1 = completely disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = agree, and 4 = completely agree. Studies have reported excellent reliability through figures achieved with Cronbach’s alpha of 0.82 [49].

2.3.4. Self-Efficacy Scale

The Spanish version of the General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE) was used for measuring this variable [51]. It is a brief and one-dimensional measure comprising 10 items in Likert format with five options: 1 = never, 2 = sometimes, 3 = frequently, 4 = almost always, and 5 = always. The scale correction is obtained by adding the scores of each statement; the higher the score, the greater the general self-efficacy experienced by the person. Regarding its psychometric properties, excellent levels of internal consistency identified by a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.81 have been found [51].

2.3.5. Psychological Distress Scale

The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (KPDS, or simply K10) was used for this construct to obtain a global measurement of this variable through the symptoms of anxiety or depression that the person perceived in the last four weeks [52]. This instrument comprises 10 questions answered by choosing one of the following options: 1 = never, 2 = rarely, 3 = sometimes, 4 = often, and 5 = always. The K10 has been evaluated in various scenarios in which evidence of internal consistency and positive correlations with anxiety and depression inventories have been found, suggesting that the convergent validity of the scale is satisfactory [53,54,55,56].

2.3.6. Program and Procedure

The program was aimed at teaching staff at different levels from the Uruguayan education system. The objectives of the training program were as follows: (a) to promote the well-being of participating teaching staff; (b) to develop theoretical and practical knowledge of character education; (c) to develop skills for the well-being management in the educational context; and (d) to provide tools for the proper application of positive psychology, character education, and well-being in educational contexts.
The teacher training program in positive psychology, character education, and well-being applied to formal education comprised 12 modules described below: (1) introduction to positive psychology; (2) virtues and character strengths; (3) studies in positive psychology and character education; (4) development of the specific strengths of gratitude and self-control; (5) strengths of open-mindedness and social intelligence; (6) pathways to wellness and character education; (7) empathy and compassion; (8) strengths of prudence, forgiveness, and leadership; (9) growth and resilience mindsets; (10) strengths of optimism and appreciation of beauty; (11) strengths of kindness, meaning, purpose, and transcendence; and (12) presentation of designed educational interventions. The program lasted approximately 90 direct training hours.
The modules were designed with high theoretical and practical content to apply the learning derived from positive psychology at personal and professional teaching levels. In a cross-sectional manner, all the modules were intended to generate spaces for practical reflection, that is, to conduct plenary sessions on how to apply them in the educational center. Modules were taught by teachers who were experts in applying positive psychology to education. Each module theoretically explained the content, strategies, and techniques that the literature identified as best practices and they were presented in an environment of cooperative work, enthusiasm, and enrichment.
Transversely to these training modules, three special activities were conducted in 2019, which the teaching staff replicated in their education centers: (a) gratitude strength day; (b) hug days to promote strengths related to bonds; and (c) give a tree to Amazon day, a way of applying character strengths to manage environmental education competencies. This last activity was also planned due to the need to generate ecological awareness through the identification, enhancement, and implementation of character strengths, remembering that there were fires in the Amazon jungle during the month of August 2019.
The program was originally designed to be applied in person. Modules 1 to 8 were applied in person with the teachers, and then the COVID-19 outbreak prevented the original format from being carried out. As a way to continue the training, the sessions were virtually held with a synchronous schedule. For modules 9 to 12, some adjustments were made to respond to the educational crisis generated by physical distancing strategies. The teacher responsible for coordinating the program created a virtual community on a platform so that the participating teachers could be in contact to clarify questions.
We intervened in a natural group of teachers. Therefore, we have not conceived a control group. We formed the group of participants through a public call made by an international company with the motivation to promote changes in the educational contexts of the Republic of Uruguay. The call was shared and published through social networks and professional media. The profile requested was of active teachers interested in being trained in positive psychology and in applying it in their schools. The focus of this program was to promote psychic resources in teaching and improve the quality of education. The study was free for participating teachers who were selected based on their teaching experience, their demonstrated interest in training, and a possible multiplier effect in the education community. The research objective was explained to them in detail and the informed consent was also obtained, which ensured the anonymity of responses, confidentiality, and that the intervention did not warrant any risk to their health. Two measurements were conducted, pre-intervention and post-intervention, as an approximation to discover the possible effects.

2.4. Statistical Analysis

First, an exploratory data analysis was conducted to examine the normality of the scores and the existence of univariate outliers, carried out using the Shapiro–Wilks test and through box plots, without finding relevant inconsistencies. Subsequently, the assumptions of the analysis of covariance with a repeated measure design (RM ANCOVA) were contrasted, in which the within-subject characteristics were the scores obtained before and after the intervention for psychological well-being, optimism, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and psychological distress. The between-subject variable was the participant’s sex. Regarding the covariates, age was considered, but the pretest records of the within-subject variables that were not considered objective variables in those models were also incorporated. For instance, to compare the longitudinal evolution of psychological well-being, the covariates were age along with initial scores for optimism, self-efficacy, self-esteem, and psychological distress.
Relative to the RM ANCOVA, the multivariate absence of outliers or influencers was confirmed with standardized residuals, Cook’s distances, and leverage values. The normality of the residuals was confirmed with the Shapiro–Wilks test and Q-Q plots. In addition, homoscedasticity was validated with the Levene test, and the equality of the regression slopes was evaluated by determining that the interaction between gender and covariates was not significant. Linearity between covariates and within-subject variables according to factor levels was weighed by constructing ungrouped scatter plots, spotting mild to moderate violations. The assumption of sphericity was not inspected as it is ensured since there are only two temporal measurements. However, it could be verified that the variance–covariance matrix was the same between the groups defined by the between-subject factor, a verification carried out through the Box’s M test. Finally, and considering that most assumptions were met, the analysis continued using the abovementioned RM ANCOVA technique.
Consequently, the scores of the constructs were expressed using the mean and standard error, indicating the significance obtained from the F statistic reported in the RM ANCOVA. To facilitate the interpretation of the effect size, Cohen’s d statistic was calculated based on the partial eta squared coefficient, characterizing the said indicator as small (d ≥ 0.20), moderate (d ≥ 0.50), or high (d ≥ 0.80) [57]. The IBM SPSS 26 was used for processing and analysis. The significance of the results was established for p < 0.05.

3. Results

3.1. Effect of the Intervention Program on the Variables of Interest

This section addresses the research question asking whether significant differences exist in the longitudinal measurements of the variables of interest, as well as in their average between men and women, after controlling the effect of the abovementioned covariates. As can be observed (see Table 1), the psychological well-being of teachers exhibited a significant increase (F = 5.36, p = 0.033), which was detected after comparing the scores recorded before the intervention (35.15; SE = 0.50) and after it (36.75; SE = 0.40). On this occasion, participation in the positive psychology program seems to have slightly affected this construct (d = 0.47). This also occurred with the measures of psychological distress and self-efficacy, although the effect size was moderate in this last variable (d = 0.62). For their part, the values of optimism and self-esteem did not show significant changes over time (see Table 1). No differences were observed between male and female teachers in each of the within-subject variables, emphasizing that this contrast was made on the average of each construct obtained by considering the pretest and posttest scores.

3.2. Teaching Skills to Build the Educational Center as a Sustainable Ecosystem of Well-Being and Health

In addition to the quantitative evidence presented in the previous section, the intervention had the dual purpose of training teaching skills for an adequate application of positive psychology at the education center. In this sense, the participants designed 27 specific activities or interventions based on the learning generated in the modules to be conducted in the respective centers of the participants. They were led by each participant with regard to the way activities can be adjusted to the real needs of the community. The central themes of the activities were character strengths, emphasizing some specific strengths such as social intelligence, kindness, transcendence, optimism and hope, self-control, and others; socio-emotional education and well-being; resilience; and educational center as a health promoter. The group comprised teachers from 13 different locations in Uruguay, which led to interesting contrasts concerning the discussion on practical experiences in quite heterogeneous educational centers. In addition, three special activities were carried out: (a) gratitude strength day; (b) hug days to promote strengths related to bonds; and (c) give a tree to Amazon day.

4. Discussion

This work had two central objectives: (1) promoting well-being and other psychic resources in teachers; and (2) the training of teaching skills in practice to apply positive psychology in their educational centers. The results of effectiveness of the multicomponent intervention based on positive psychology are consistent with those reported due to the few antecedents carried out with other samples of teachers [58,59,60,61,62]. The effect sizes reported in this study are small to moderate, as indicated by other psychological interventions based on multiple components of positive psychology in clinical and non-clinical populations [63,64,65,66] and with practicing teachers [20].
Pre- and post-program measurements suggest that the multicomponent intervention based on positive psychology generated significant changes in increased psychological well-being, enhanced general self-efficacy, and a statistically significant decrease in psychological distress, although this study has clear limitations in the research design, such as the absence of a control group. The results are similar to studies that did have control groups or placebos [20] and can even be interpreted as quite encouraging results for the future, knowing that the intervention was conducted in the midst of the educational crisis caused by COVID-19. This suggests that the intervention acted as a mental health tool and a learning community for teachers, in which colleagues’ main concerns could be discussed.
Thus, the results suggest that the intervention program affected the increase of multidimensional psychological well-being, understood as the ability to maintain healthy and warm ties, to keep meaning in life through projects that give a path to follow, to cultivate self-acceptance, and to find situations of environmental mastery or expertise through autonomy to make decisions according to the subjectivity of personal growth for each teacher [47]. We also identified increases in the perception of general self-efficacy, which is interpreted as a greater belief in one’s abilities to perform tasks successfully, and this may have helped teachers to more adaptively face the teaching demands in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis [51]. A very interesting result of the study was the decrease in symptoms of anxiety or depression that the sample of teachers perceived during the last four weeks [53].
Furthermore, slight differences were found according to the results obtained in the pre- and post-measures of optimism and self-esteem. Although they were not statistically significant, the intervention had an indirect effect at least in maintaining the levels of optimism and self-esteem at a time of such uncertainty for teachers, as was the COVID-19 pandemic, with its implications on mental health and teacher performance in Uruguay [58,59]. The program had to be modified to be delivered online, as a way to continue supporting teachers during the lockdown period, a situation that can be interpreted as a potential limitation of the study and as a strength in responding to events in the face of adversity.
The results reveal that the process of continuous professional teacher training can facilitate the following courses of action: promoting mental health and teacher well-being, preventing psychological-occupational risks, and aiding teacher training to improve education quality. To conclude, multicomponent interventions in positive psychology can be viable tools for such purposes in teachers. It can be a tool for promoting sustainable development in schools, seeking health and equity for all, ensuring decent work, and facilitating quality education. At this point, a recommendation can be made for future interventions. Positive psychology interventions for teachers should not be isolated, instead, they should be designed and executed considering the personal and work context [59]. This should be done while keeping in mind that the goal of applicability in teaching work is a crucial point to generate sustainability and commitment to change in schools and thus promote quality education.
Few studies have focused on promoting mental health and teacher training during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some studies have been carried out with the general population with adequate effectiveness indicators such as the “Staying Home—Feeling Positive” program [60] and others with university students [61,62]. This study, despite its stated limitations, is configured as a research antecedent for non-Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD) contexts [63] as an effort for positive psychology to be applied to real contexts far removed from the well-to-do societies of WEIRD countries in the development of the COVID-19 pandemic.

5. Conclusions

We concluded that the teacher training program in positive psychology, character education, and wellbeing applied to formal education had favorable impacts on its participants: 1. There was an increase in psychological wellbeing and general self-efficacy strengthened psychological resources probably due to the development of the intervention. 2. There was a decrease in psychological distress, also probably due to the development of psychic resources during the program. 3. There was a strengthening of teaching competencies to build the educational center as a sustainable ecosystem of wellbeing and health, possibly thanks to the instances of training, application, and discussion with teaching colleagues. The evidence collected in this study is quite interesting because it is the product of a study conducted during COVID-19. However, the findings should be analyzed with caution. The main reason for this is the reported research design that poses limitations in the interpretation of the effectiveness of the intervention, as they may be attributable to internal validity issues typical of quasi-experimental studies and with small sample size.
Despite the above, we believe that the main strength of the study is that it is a precedent in the region and the educational area. Future research could overcome the limitations of the present study—for example, the possibility of having control groups. Testing a complete experimental strategy through a random assignment and future research must be considered as other follow-up measures. However, this study replicates findings found in other studies that may lead us to conclude that multi-component interventions based on positive psychology applied to teachers may be a scientific way to improve educational quality. This intervention is an alternative to be incorporated into public educational policies related to teacher training and career development.
In this sense, we believe that the findings of this research are an invitation to continue delving into educational quality from the psychology of well-being and mental health, focusing on professional teacher training. For future research, it would be interesting to include teacher functioning variables such as commitment, context variables such as principal support and type of leadership, and variables related to the teacher-student relationship. In addition, it would be interesting to follow up on the interventions designed by the teachers in the training program to find out if they continued to apply them in the school and how the impact was. Finally, in addition to quantitative measurements, it is suggested to include qualitative collection techniques as valuable tools to retrieve information and to delve deeper into personal and work-related changes.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, D.G.-Á. and M.J.S.; data curation, D.G.-Á. and J.H.-L.; formal analysis, D.G.-Á., R.C.-R. and J.H.-L.; funding acquisition, M.J.S. and J.H.-L.; investigation, D.G.-Á. and R.C.-R.; methodology, D.G.-Á. and M.J.S.; project administration, M.J.S. and J.H.-L.; resources, M.J.S. and J.H.-L.; software, D.G.-Á., M.J.S. and R.C.-R.; supervision, D.G.-Á.; validation, D.G.-Á., M.J.S. and R.C.-R.; visualization, R.C.-R.; writing—original draft, D.G.-Á., M.J.S. and R.C.-R.; writing—review & editing, D.G.-Á., M.J.S. and R.C.-R. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research was funded by Jóvenes Fuertes Uruguay and Fundación UPM Uruguay. The APC was funded by Universidad Simón Bolivar, Colombia.

Institutional Review Board Statement

The study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki in research involving human subjects and approved by the Institutional Review Board (or Ethics Committee) of Jóvenes Fuertes Uruguay (190422/April 2019).

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from all subjects involved in the study.

Data Availability Statement

Further inquiries can be directed to the corresponding author.


To Jóvenes Fuertes Uruguay, the specialist teachers who carry out the intervention, Carina Zerbino, and Inés Ruiz for their support in the project.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, or in the decision to publish the results.


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Table 1. Evolution of the variables of interest before and after the program and comparison of the average in the variables of interest according to sex.
Table 1. Evolution of the variables of interest before and after the program and comparison of the average in the variables of interest according to sex.
Var.BeforeAfterF (p, d ) MenWomenF (p, d )
PW35.15 (0.50)36.75 (0.40)5.36 (0.033, 0.47)36.09 (0.52)35.80 (0.29)0.22 (0.644, 0.10)
OP10.46 (0.33)10.95 (0.31)1.47 (0.241, 0.25)10.49 (0.44)10.92 (0.25)0.69 (0.418, 0.17)
PD19.84 (1.12)17.58 (1.07)5.80 (0.028, 0.49)18.84 (1.79)18.58 (1.00)0.02 (0.904, 0.03)
SEF27.34 (0.44)28.41 (0.53)9.14 (0.008, 0.62)27.88 (0.82)27.87 (0.45)0.01 (0.995, 0.00)
SE26.06 (0.32)26.81 (0.33)3.23 (0.090, 0.37)26.10 (0.44)26.77 (0.25)1.71 (0.209, 0.27)
Note: Abbreviations and symbols: Var.: variables analyzed. PW: Psychological well-being. OP: optimism. PD: psychological distress. SEF: self-efficacy. SE: self-esteem. F: F statistic. p: p-value or observed significance. d: Cohen’s d coefficient to measure effect size. The values shown correspond to the means and standard errors adjusted after controlling the effect of the covariates mentioned in the statistical analysis section. For each model, the covariates were age and within-subject variables, excluding the one being analyzed as the dependent variable. What is compared between male and female individuals is the average of the scores before and after the program for each within-subject variable.
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García-Álvarez, D.; Soler, M.J.; Cobo-Rendón, R.; Hernández-Lalinde, J. Positive Psychology Applied to Education in Practicing Teachers during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Personal Resources, Well-Being, and Teacher Training. Sustainability 2022, 14, 11728.

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García-Álvarez D, Soler MJ, Cobo-Rendón R, Hernández-Lalinde J. Positive Psychology Applied to Education in Practicing Teachers during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Personal Resources, Well-Being, and Teacher Training. Sustainability. 2022; 14(18):11728.

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García-Álvarez, Diego, María José Soler, Rubia Cobo-Rendón, and Juan Hernández-Lalinde. 2022. "Positive Psychology Applied to Education in Practicing Teachers during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Personal Resources, Well-Being, and Teacher Training" Sustainability 14, no. 18: 11728.

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