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The role of a good character in 12-Year-Old school children: do character strengths matter in the classroom?


Weber, Marco; Ruch, Willibald (2012). The role of a good character in 12-Year-Old school children: do character strengths matter in the classroom? Child Indicators Research, 5(2):317-334.

Abstract

The present study investigated the role of the good character at school,
specifically, its associations with satisfaction with school experiences, academic selfefficacy,
positive classroom behavior, and objective school success (i.e., school grades).
A sample of 247 students (mean age=12 years) completed the Values in Action
Inventory of Strengths for Youth, and measures on school-related satisfaction and
academic self-efficacy. Teacher-ratings on positive classroom behavior, and grades from
students’ school reports were also collected. Love of learning, zest, gratitude,
perseverance, and curiosity were positively associated with school-related satisfaction.
Hope, love of learning, perseverance, prudence, and others were positively associated
with academic self-efficacy. Character strengths of the mind (e.g., self-regulation,
perseverance, love of learning) were predictive for school success. The good character
explained about one fourth of the variance in positive classroom behavior, with the
specific strengths of perseverance, love of learning, and prudence showing the most
substantial positive correlations. A model that postulated the predictive power of
classroom-relevant character strengths on school success, mediated through positive
classroom behavior, was supported. Character strengths (e.g., perspective, gratitude,
hope, self-regulation, teamwork) distinguished between students who demonstrated
improved vs. decreased grades during the school year. This study shows that the good
character clearly matters in different contexts at school, and it seems to be relevant for
subjective (e.g., satisfaction) as well as objective (e.g., grades) outcomes, and for
positive behavior in classrooms.

Abstract

The present study investigated the role of the good character at school,
specifically, its associations with satisfaction with school experiences, academic selfefficacy,
positive classroom behavior, and objective school success (i.e., school grades).
A sample of 247 students (mean age=12 years) completed the Values in Action
Inventory of Strengths for Youth, and measures on school-related satisfaction and
academic self-efficacy. Teacher-ratings on positive classroom behavior, and grades from
students’ school reports were also collected. Love of learning, zest, gratitude,
perseverance, and curiosity were positively associated with school-related satisfaction.
Hope, love of learning, perseverance, prudence, and others were positively associated
with academic self-efficacy. Character strengths of the mind (e.g., self-regulation,
perseverance, love of learning) were predictive for school success. The good character
explained about one fourth of the variance in positive classroom behavior, with the
specific strengths of perseverance, love of learning, and prudence showing the most
substantial positive correlations. A model that postulated the predictive power of
classroom-relevant character strengths on school success, mediated through positive
classroom behavior, was supported. Character strengths (e.g., perspective, gratitude,
hope, self-regulation, teamwork) distinguished between students who demonstrated
improved vs. decreased grades during the school year. This study shows that the good
character clearly matters in different contexts at school, and it seems to be relevant for
subjective (e.g., satisfaction) as well as objective (e.g., grades) outcomes, and for
positive behavior in classrooms.

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16 citations in Web of Science®
17 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
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:22 Nov 2011 14:21
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:07
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1874-897X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-011-9128-0

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