Health, demographic change and wellbeing - ECoWeB














The Emotion Competence and Well-being Project aims to develop and disseminate a mobile application (App) to provide engaging and personalized tools and psychological skills to promote emotional wellbeing and prevent mental health problems in adolescents and young adults. The project team involves 8 European nations working together in order to improve mental health care and access for youth. The four year project is led by the University of Exeter.


Project description

Although there are effective mental well-being promotion and mental disorder prevention interventions for young people, there is a need for more robust evidence on resilience factors, for more effective interventions, and for approaches that can be scalable and accessible at a population level. To tackle these challenges and move beyond the state-of-the-art, ECoWeB uniquely integrates three multidisciplinary approaches:
(a) For the first time to our knowledge, we systematically use an established theoretical model of normal emotional functioning (Emotional Competence Process) to guide the identification and targeting of mechanisms robustly implicated in well-being and psychopathology in young people;
(b) A personalized medicine approach: systematic assessment of personal Emotional Competence (EC) profiles is used to select targeted interventions to promote well-being:
(c) Mobile application delivery to target scalability, accessibility and acceptability in young people.
Our aim is to improve mental health promotion by developing, evaluating, and disseminating a comprehensive mobile app to assess deficits in three major components of EC (production, regulation, knowledge) and to selectively augment pertinent EC abilities in adolescents and young adults. It is hypothesized that the targeted interventions, based on state-of-the-art assessment, will efficiently increase resilience toward adversity, promote mental well-being, and act as primary prevention for mental disorders. The EC intervention will be tested in cohort multiple randomized trials with young people from many European countries against a usual care control and an established, non-personalized socio-emotional learning digital intervention. Building directly from a fundamental understanding of emotion in combination with a personalized approach and leading edge digital technology is a novel and innovative approach, with potential to deliver a breakthrough in effective prevention of mental disorder.



These are the objectives of ECoWeB:

  1. The development of a website platform and mobile app suitable to deliver both digital measurement and intervention tools in a flexible and integrated way and to deploy the solution in a scalable and effective way.
  2. To successfully identify, adapt, and develop empirically validated assessment instruments for three major emotion competencies.  
  3. The development of innovative, autonomous self-help EC-related digital mobile app interventions that are highly scalable and open to all potential users.
  4. The successful establishment of a large (N=2400+) longitudinal participant cohort consisting of adolescents and young adults across different European countries.
  5. The delivery of two cohort multiple randomized controlled trials (cmRCTs) to test proof-of-principle.
  6. To assess the suitability of the personalised digital EC self-help training intervention in the pilot phase.
  7. Successful dissemination of findings.  


Role of Ghent University

The Ghent University team is in charge of the development and validation of digital instruments and interventions for the assessment and training of the ability to identify and understand emotion processes in other people and in oneself on the basis of informative cues (knowledge component of the Emotional Competence construct), suitable to be used by young people.



Prof. Johnny Fontaine
Department of Personnel Management, Work and Organizational Psychology
Phone number:  09 264 64 56