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The lived experiences of adolescents identification of character strengths and the impact upon identity. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: Short article

Jamie Stephenson

In the development of Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification, Peterson and Seligman (2004), sought to create a framework of understanding that would provide a common language in relation to character strengths and consensual classifications of positive human attributes. Since the conceptualisation and emergence of character strengths theory, research has shown that character strengths use in adolescence has numerous benefits. Research has shown: character strengths such as zest, perseverance and love of learning are positively related to  school performance (Weber,  Wagner & Ruch, 2016);  engagement in character strengths interventions impacts and increases the well-being of individuals as compared to a control group (Oppenheimer, Fialkov, Ecker & Portnoy, 2014);  following character strengths interventions school classes have shown an increase in group cohesion and classroom engagement (Quinlan, Swain, Cameron & Vella-Brodrick, 2014); and the more prominent ‘other-related’ strengths predict lower depressive symptoms in adolescents (Gillham et al., 2011).

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