Bochum Optimism and Mental Health

A program of the Mental Health Research and Treatment Center



Welcome to the homepage of the “BOOM”- Program


On the following pages you have the opportunity to get to know the research program “Bochum Optimism and Mental Health (BOOM)”.

The program is under administration of Prof. Dr. Jürgen Margraf, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at Ruhr-Universität Bochum, and of Prof. Dr. Silvia Schneider, Department of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. The BOOM program is supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.


What is the aim of BOOM?

The main aim of BOOM is the identification of causal protective and risk factors of positive mental health as well as depression, anxiety and stress symptoms. It contains intercultural and transcultural cross- and longitudinal studies in which potentially causally significant combinations of epidemiological, experimental psychological and intervention approaches are investigated.
The dual-factor model of mental health which describes mental health and mental illness as two interrelated but separate unipolar dimensions is the theoretical basis of BOOM.


Which data are BOOM studies based on?

Since 2011, cross-sectional and longitudinal data of student (Germany, Russia, China) and representative (Germany, Russia, USA) samples are continuously collected and analyzed (total N ≈ 40,000).
Various methodological approaches are used to clarify the influence of different research methods and to provide insights into the transcultural measurement invariance of the investigated constructs and instruments, including for example the following (for a complete list of investigated constructs, see here):


  • Positive Mental Health (PMH-Scale; Lukat et al., 2016),

  • Depression, Anxiety and Stress (DASS-21; Henry & Crawford, 2005),

  • Optimism (LOT-R; Glaesmer et al., 2008),

  • Satisfaction with Life (SWLS; Diener et al., 1985),

  • Resilience (RS-11; Schumacher et al., 2005),

  • Subjective Happiness (SHS; Lyubomirsky & Lepper, 1999),

  • Social Support (F-SozU K-14; Fydrich et al., 2009),

  • Values (PVQ-21; Schwartz, 2007),

  • “Big Five” (BFI-10; Rammstedt & John, 2007),

  • Narcissism (NPI-13; Gentile et al., 2013),

  • ...

First results show that life satisfaction, resilience, optimism, subjective happiness and social support have a salutogenic effect cross-culturally, and at the same time act as a buffer against negative effects of stress and psychopathological symptoms. Resilience and social support partly compensate the effect of each other. There are also meaningful transcultural differences: for instance in Germany, psychological symptoms decrease with increasing age; whereas in Russia, these symptoms rise with age. Distinct differences are also found in personal values, which in turn are significantly related to mental health. Furthermore, significant differences in terms of mental health were found between people using social networking sites such as Facebook and non-users of such sites.


Thank you for your interest in our research program!


We look forward to a lively exchange and to new possibilities for research cooperation.
For further questions, do not hesitate to contact us at:








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