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Character Strengths and PERMA: Investigating the Relationships of Character Strengths with a Multidimensional Framework of Well-Being


Wagner, Lisa; Gander, Fabian; Proyer, René T; Ruch, Willibald (2019). Character Strengths and PERMA: Investigating the Relationships of Character Strengths with a Multidimensional Framework of Well-Being. Applied Research in Quality of Life:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Character strengths are positively valued traits that are expected to contribute to the good life (Peterson and Seligman 2004). Numerous studies have confirmed their robust relationships with subjective or hedonic well-being. Seligman (2011) provided a new framework of well-being suggesting five dimensions that encompass both hedonic and eudemonic aspects of well-being: positive emotions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning and accomplishment (forming the acronym PERMA). However, the role of character strengths has not been studied so far in this framework. Also, most studies on the relationships between character strengths and well-being only have only relied on self-reports. This set of two studies examines the relationships of character strengths and the orientations to well-being in two cross-sectional studies (Study 1: N = 5521), while also taking informant-reports into account and utilizing different questionnaires to control for a possible method bias (Study 2: N = 172). Participants completed validated assessments of character strengths and the PERMA dimensions (self-reports in Study 1, self- and informant-reports in Study 2). Results showed that in self-reports, all strengths were positively related to all PERMA dimensions, but there were differences in the size of the relationships. Accomplishment, for example, showed the strongest associations with strengths such as perspective, persistence, and zest, whereas for positive relationships, strengths such as teamwork, love, and kindness were the best predictors. These findings were largely confirmed by informant-reports in Study 2. The findings provide further support for the notion that character contributes to well-being and they could guide the development of strengths-based interventions tailored to individual needs.

Abstract

Character strengths are positively valued traits that are expected to contribute to the good life (Peterson and Seligman 2004). Numerous studies have confirmed their robust relationships with subjective or hedonic well-being. Seligman (2011) provided a new framework of well-being suggesting five dimensions that encompass both hedonic and eudemonic aspects of well-being: positive emotions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning and accomplishment (forming the acronym PERMA). However, the role of character strengths has not been studied so far in this framework. Also, most studies on the relationships between character strengths and well-being only have only relied on self-reports. This set of two studies examines the relationships of character strengths and the orientations to well-being in two cross-sectional studies (Study 1: N = 5521), while also taking informant-reports into account and utilizing different questionnaires to control for a possible method bias (Study 2: N = 172). Participants completed validated assessments of character strengths and the PERMA dimensions (self-reports in Study 1, self- and informant-reports in Study 2). Results showed that in self-reports, all strengths were positively related to all PERMA dimensions, but there were differences in the size of the relationships. Accomplishment, for example, showed the strongest associations with strengths such as perspective, persistence, and zest, whereas for positive relationships, strengths such as teamwork, love, and kindness were the best predictors. These findings were largely confirmed by informant-reports in Study 2. The findings provide further support for the notion that character contributes to well-being and they could guide the development of strengths-based interventions tailored to individual needs.

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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
Uncontrolled Keywords:Life-span and Life-course Studies DoktoratPsych Erstautor
Language:English
Date:13 January 2019
Deposited On:24 Jan 2019 11:39
Last Modified:30 Apr 2019 07:01
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1871-2584
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-018-9695-z
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID100014_132512
  • : Project TitlePositive Interventions: Empirical studies on enhancing satisfaction with life
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID100014_149772
  • : Project TitlePositive Interventions: Empirical studies on enhancing satisfaction with life
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID100014_172723
  • : Project TitleStudies on the Advancement of Character Research

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