This article reviews existing literature on positive psychology, supported decision-making (SDM), employment, and disability. It examines interventions and assessments that have been empirically evaluated for the enhancement of decision-making and overall well-being of people with disabilities. Additionally, conceptual themes present in the literature were explored.
A systematic review was conducted across two databases (ERIC and PsychINFO) using various combination of keywords of ‘disabilit*’, work rehabilitation and employment terms, positive psychology terms, and SDM components. Seven database searches were conducted with diverse combinations of keywords, which identified 1425 results in total to be screened for relevance using their titles and abstracts. Database search was supplemented with hand searches of oft-cited journals, ancestral search, and supplemental search from grey literature.
Only four studies were identified in the literature targeting SDM and positive psychology related constructs in the employment and job development context. Results across the studies indicated small to moderate impacts of the assessment and interventions on decision-making and engagement outcomes. Conceptually there are thematic areas of potential overlap, although they are limited in the explicit integration of theory in supported decision-making, positive psychology, disability, and employment.
Results suggest a need for additional scholarship in this area that focuses on theory development and integration as well as empirical work. Such work should examine the potential utility of considering positive psychological interventions when planning for SDM in the context of career development activities to enhance positive outcomes related to decision-making, self-determination, and other positive psychological constructs.