Monitor on Psychology - January 2012 - (Page 11)

Girl Scouts’ ‘Science of Happiness’ badge promotes positive psychology The Girl Scouts of the USA teamed with Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD, to develop a “Science of Happiness” Badge. To earn the badge, “cadettes” — Girl Scouts in sixth, seventh and eighth grades — must create and implement a monthlong strategy for increasing their own happiness, says Alisha Niehaus, executive editor of Girl Scouts program resources. Seligman, who directs the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, helped develop the requirements for the badge, based on his research on reducing depression and anxiety among adolescents. The badge gives pre-adolescents strategies for increasing wellbeing before they become teenagers, he says. “After puberty there is a very large rise in depression, but if you can work with children right before puberty, you can help reduce it,” says Seligman. “There are 21 replications around the world for teaching these skills to children aged 10 to 12, and the metaanalysis shows significant reductions in depression and anxiety as they get older.” The Science of Happiness badge takes cadettes through five steps, including “Make yourself happier” and “Get happy through others,” each with its own recommended activities. Girl Scouts can make a collage about someone meaningful to them, write a list of things that make them feel good, or create a family “bliss box” of memories and souvenirs. Girls also keep a journal about the activities and their plans for future projects. The badge is intended to boost the girls’ awareness of the science behind happiness and psychology, Niehaus says. “We’re always looking for highinterest science activities, and this gives budding psychologists a chance to work in a research-oriented way,” she says. It also helps prepare them for the future. “Adolescence is such a hard time,” says Niehaus. By showing girls that there are strategies for developing happiness, the Girl Scouts hopes to teach them that they have a measure of control over their feelings and actions. “It can be really helpful just figuring what makes you happy and trying it out to see what works for you,” Niehaus says. The new badge is part of a program-wide merit badge revamp — the first comprehensive revision the Girl Scouts of to the program in nearly 25 the USA “Science of years — to mark the Girl Happiness” badge. Scout’s 100th anniversary. —E. WoJCik interested in the APA presidency? APA members who would like to be nominated for APA president-elect in 2012 — and serve as the association’s 2014 president — are invited to submit a statement of 50 words or less. the statement will accompany the online nomination ballot. Please note that statements are optional and not required in order to be nominated. the deadline for potential candidates to submit a statement is Jan. 16. the 50-word limit will be strictly enforced. Interested candidates are also welcome to speak to the Council of representatives at its meeting Feb. 24–26, in Washington, D.C., and are responsible for their own transportation and lodging costs. the nomination election will be conducted online and will begin Feb. 1, with a 45-day balloting period. For more information, contact Garnett Coad of APA’s Governance office at (202) 3366087 or via email at J a n u a ry 2 0 1 2 • M o n i t o r o n p s y c h o l o g y 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - January 2012

Monitor on Psychology - January 2012
President’s Column
From the CEO
Apa’s Statement on the Dsm-5 Development Process
Girl Scouts Badge Promotes Positive Psychology
Early Investments Pay Off for Poor Children, Study Finds
Apa Meets With Chinese Psychological Society to Further Interaction and Exchange
Unique Opportunity for Psychologists to Travel to Cuba
In Brief
Government Relations Update
On Your Behalf
Psychology’s Growing Library of Podcasts
Standing Up for Psychology
Judicial Notebook
Random Sample
Time Capsule
Science Watch
Beyond Psychotherapy
Perspective on Practice
Yes, Recovery Is Possible
Inequity to Equity
Making E-Learning Work
New Standards for High School Psychology
A Trailblazer Moves On
Psychologist Profile
Plan Now for Psychology’s Regional Meetings
New Journal Editors
Apa News
Division Spotlight
American Psychological Foundation

Monitor on Psychology - January 2012