Caribbean Journal of Psychology: Vol. 11, Issue 1, 2019

Article 1
Guidelines for the Cultural Adaptation of Positive Psychology Interventions

Tom Hendriks
Anton de Kom University of Suriname, Paramaribo

Tobi Graafsma
Anton de Kom University of Suriname, Paramaribo


Most positive psychology interventions (PPis) introduced in the past two decades were developed by western scholars. There is a growing number of PPis from non-western countries along with an increased awareness of the need for culturally sensitive interventions among populations with multi-ethnic backgrounds in western countries. To increase their efficacy, it is important that psychological interventions are adapted to the different cultural backgrounds of populations. Cultural adaptation can be described as the systematic modification of evidence-based treatments, so that they become more compatible with the cultural patterns, meanings, and values of the participants receiving them. This current paper provides guidelines to make positive psychology interventions more sensitive when working with non-western populations. These guidelines build on previous ones that describe the cultural adaptation process of psychotherapy and cognitive­behavioural therapy that focus on different components of the diagnostic, developmental, implementation, and evaluative stages of evidence-based interventions that aim to increase positive feelings, behaviours, and cognitions.