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Positive feelings at school: on the relationships between students’ character strengths, school-related affect, and school functioning


Weber, Marco; Wagner, Lisa; Ruch, Willibald (2016). Positive feelings at school: on the relationships between students’ character strengths, school-related affect, and school functioning. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(1):341-355.

Abstract

The present study was designed to examine the relationships between students’ character strengths, school-related affect, positive school functioning (i.e., motivation to learn, interest, and engagement at class), and school achievement following the “engine model of well-being” that is focusing on inputs (e.g., personality traits), processes (e.g., moods, emotions), and outcomes (e.g., engagement, accomplishments) within the context of well-being research. A sample of 196 children completed the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths for Youth, which assesses 24 character strengths, and the PANAS-C that assesses school-related positive and negative affect. Additionally, homeroom teachers rated students’ positive school functioning (i.e., motivation, engagement, and interest at school) and their overall school achievement. The character strengths of zest, love of learning, perseverance, and social intelligence showed the strongest positive correlations with school-related positive affect. Teamwork, hope, self-regulation, and love were substantially negatively correlated with school-related negative affect. Certain character strengths showed positive relationships with positive school functioning and overall school achievement. A path model, testing the “engine model of well-being”, found—additionally to direct effects—indirect relationships between character strengths and positive school functioning (through school-related positive affect), which in turn leads to higher school achievement. The presented findings show character strengths as meaningful resources in the schooling context. Character strengths emerge to be crucial for students to experience school-related positive affect, which in turn supports students’ positive school functioning and their overall school achievement. The results demonstrate the complex interplay between students’ personality traits, affect, school functioning, and achievement at school.

Abstract

The present study was designed to examine the relationships between students’ character strengths, school-related affect, positive school functioning (i.e., motivation to learn, interest, and engagement at class), and school achievement following the “engine model of well-being” that is focusing on inputs (e.g., personality traits), processes (e.g., moods, emotions), and outcomes (e.g., engagement, accomplishments) within the context of well-being research. A sample of 196 children completed the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths for Youth, which assesses 24 character strengths, and the PANAS-C that assesses school-related positive and negative affect. Additionally, homeroom teachers rated students’ positive school functioning (i.e., motivation, engagement, and interest at school) and their overall school achievement. The character strengths of zest, love of learning, perseverance, and social intelligence showed the strongest positive correlations with school-related positive affect. Teamwork, hope, self-regulation, and love were substantially negatively correlated with school-related negative affect. Certain character strengths showed positive relationships with positive school functioning and overall school achievement. A path model, testing the “engine model of well-being”, found—additionally to direct effects—indirect relationships between character strengths and positive school functioning (through school-related positive affect), which in turn leads to higher school achievement. The presented findings show character strengths as meaningful resources in the schooling context. Character strengths emerge to be crucial for students to experience school-related positive affect, which in turn supports students’ positive school functioning and their overall school achievement. The results demonstrate the complex interplay between students’ personality traits, affect, school functioning, and achievement at school.

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Citations

3 citations in Web of Science®
2 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2016
Deposited On:25 Nov 2014 12:02
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 08:21
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1389-4978
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-014-9597-1

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