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Becoming Prosocial From the Inside Out: Adapting Prosocial Applications for Young People

Presented by: Louise Hayes

Date Recorded

Young people are the canary in the coal mine, daring us to see social change. Worldwide data shows people aged 16-24 suffer more than any other age group, with up to 50% reporting distress that meets diagnosable mental health problems. However, this is not a problem just for them as individuals. Upstream changes extend to loneliness, disconnection, social trauma, family disruption, community change, social media, climate change, politics, war and displacement, and economic downturns. Although we know this is a multilevel problem, funding for services weighs heavily on the individual, as if treating the young person’s thoughts and feelings will address the whole problem. Surprisingly, few applications are holistic and take a multilevel approach.

This talk will discuss a framework that is multilevel called DNA-V. It uses evolutionary and behavioural sciences, along with evidence-based psychological processes, to promote individual growth inside the broader context of social groups and the environment. DNA-V stands as a robust human change model that has spurred adolescent research, inspiring clinical protocols, school curriculums, and prosocial applications. The strength of DNA-V is its solid and clear scientific foundation, a common language for individual and group applications, and readily accessible delivery. In this talk, we will focus on how core design principles and prosocial applications use DNA-V to support young people's growth in their social world.

Dr. Louise Hayes is an academic, clinical psychologist, author, and educator (and a Buddhist meditation teacher in her spare time). She is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at La Trobe University and Past President of the Association for Contextual Behavioural Science. She trains professionals, writes and works clinically with adults and teens on how to thrive and grow. Together with Joseph Ciarrochi, she developed DNA-v, a leading acceptance and commitment therapy model that has sparked international studies. In 2022 she released a new book for helping adults thrive in the face of change – What Makes You Stronger. She is also the co-author of three best-selling books for assisting young people to thrive.

Louise’s passion project is a not-for-profit endeavor that takes professionals on journeys into the Himalayas, where they foster their mindful way of being while raising funds to help children in remote Nepal.

1 hour 27 minute