Finding character strengths through loss: an extension of Peterson and Seligman (2003)

Schueller, Stephen M., Jayawickreme, Eranda, Blackie, Laura E.R., Forgeard, Marie, J.C. and Roepke, Ann Marie (2014) Finding character strengths through loss: an extension of Peterson and Seligman (2003). Journal of Positive Psychology, 10 (1). pp. 53-63. ISSN 1743-9779

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People can experience positive changes even in the midst of adversity and loss. We investigated character strengths following three recent shooting tragedies. Using an Internet database of respondents to the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS), we compared responses from three groups of participants (N = 31,429) within close proximity of each event: those who completed it eight months prior to the event, and one month and two months after. Results suggested that for one of the events, participants who completed the VIA-IS after the event showed slightly different levels of self-reported character strengths compared to participants who completed the VIA-IS before the event, with some mean levels higher and others lower. The observed differences in character strengths were inconsistent across follow-up periods, and effect sizes were small (d values from –0.13 to 0.15). These findings raise questions about whether and how tragedies might catalyze differences in character strengths.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in Journal of Positive Psychology 2014
Keywords: Character strengths, Posttraumatic growth, VIA-IS, Development, Traumatic events
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Blackie, Laura
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2016 14:00
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 16:47

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