Conceptualizing psychological well-being as a dynamic process: Implications for research on mobile health interventions

Saida Heshmati, Chelsea Muth, Robert W. Roeser, Joshua Morrison Smyth, Hamidreza Jamalabadi, Zita Oravecz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We introduce a theoretical framework for conceptualizing Psychological Well-Being (PWB) as a process that unfolds over short and longer time-scales. We argue that this framework can be especially useful for studying the change mechanisms in PWB within the context of mobile Health (mHealth) interventions. Four lines of research are considered within this framework to inform the scientific exploration of PWB in the context of mHealth interventions. First, we explore key dynamic characteristics of change in PWB functioning. Second, we discuss PWB intervention response as a learning process (i.e., meaningful and transformational changes in state), reflected as change in key dynamic characteristics of PWB. Third, we explain mechanisms of change in PWB intervention practices through an underlying process of skill development. Fourth, we discuss intervention response heterogeneity within this framework. The approach we outline is intended to articulate currently unanswered, process-oriented research questions about PWB interventions, how they work, and a methodological path forward for exploring them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12933
JournalSocial and Personality Psychology Compass
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology

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