Among secondary school students who took the VIA Youth Survey, a standardized intelligence test, a brief flow measure, and student- and teacher-ratings, it was character strengths (i.e., love of learning and perseverance) that consistently connected with achievement, flow, and enjoyment, above and beyond cognitive ability across all learning situations (Wagner et al., 2020). Wagner, L., Holenstein, M., Wepf, H., & Ruch, W. (2020). Character strengths are related to students’ achievement, flow experiences, and enjoyment in teacher-centered learning, individual, and group work beyond cognitive ability. Frontiers in Psychology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01324
Character strengths were found to be strongly related to four measures of academic achievement (e.g., GPA, SAT/ACT scores) and well-being indicators, with moderate relationships with psychopathology and low relations with physical health (Karris Bachik, Carey, & Craighead, 2020). Karris Bachik, M. A., Carey, G., & Craighead, W. E. (2020). Via character strengths among U.S. College students and their associations with happiness, well-being, resiliency, academic success and psychopathology. Journal of Positive Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2020.1752785
A school study of adolescents found that virtues of inquisitiveness and self-control (using the VIA 3-factor model by McGrath) predicted academic achievements and all virtues predicted well-being (with the caring virtue being highest). Strengths use full mediated the relationship between virtues and academic achievements and well-being (Tang et al., 2019). Tang, X., Li, Y., Mu, W., Cheng, X., & Duan, W. (2019). Character strengths lead to satisfactory educational outcomes through strengths knowledge and strengths use. Frontiers in Psychology. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01829
Explores mechanisms for developing character strengths in schools and examines the connections between character strengths and 21st century competencies, which are cognitive, interpersonal, and intrapersonal competencies identified by the American National Research Council (Lavy, 2019). Lavy, S. (2019). A review of character strengths interventions in twenty-first-century schools: Their importance and how they can be fostered. Applied Research in Quality of Life. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-018-9700-6
Study of the VIA Classification and its use among residential care directors and other caregivers for orphans and vulnerable children across 5 global locations. The most important strengths prioritized for caregiving included love, honesty, forgiveness, and kindness (Kinghorn et al., 2019). Kinghorn, W. A., Keyes, C. L. M., Parnell, H. E., Eagle, D. E., Biru, B. M., Amanya, C., . . . Proeschold-Bell, R. J. (2019). Putting virtues in context: Engaging the via classification of character strengths in caregiving for orphans and vulnerable children across cultures. Journal of Positive Psychology. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2019.1579363
In a study of over 1,300 Israeli adolescents over 14 months, a factor called “spirituality” emerged in addition to factors of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intellectual. Spirituality was stable over time and contributed to high prosociality and well-being across the study (Kor et al., 2019). Kor, A., Pirutinsky, S., Mikulincer, M., Shoshani, A., & Miller, L. (2019). A longitudinal study of spirituality, character strengths, subjective well-being, and prosociality in middle school adolescents. Frontiers in Psychology, 10. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00377
A systematic review of the key factors that enable a positive transition to secondary school found character strengths to be among the most significant aspects in the transition literature (Bharara, 2019). Bharara, G. (2019). Factors facilitating a positive transition to secondary school: A systematic literature review. International Journal of School & Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21683603.2019.1572552
Deployed a strengths-spotting intervention examining written behavioral examples of teacher and child use of love, forgiveness, and kindness. Some of the findings included teacher and child love being associated with empathy and spontaneous affection; kindness with helpfulness and friendship; and forgiveness with giving second chances, letting go, responding with kindness, and speaking positively (Haslip, Allen-Handy, & Donaldson, 2019). Haslip, M. J., Allen-Handy, A., & Donaldson, L. (2019). How do children and teachers demonstrate love, kindness and forgiveness? Findings from an early childhood strength-spotting intervention. Early Childhood Education Journal. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10643-019-00951-7
Israeli study of two large samples of parents of children between the ages of 3-6 and explains the development and validation of a measure of character strengths for young children (Shoshani, 2019). This measure is available for researchers in Hebrew and English on the VIA site, as an informant/parent-report for ages 3-6, courtesy of the developer, Anat Shoshani. Shoshani, A. (2019). Young children’s character strengths and emotional well-being: Development of the character strengths inventory for early childhood (CSI-EC). Journal of Positive Psychology, 14(1), 86-102.
In a study of 653 first-year undergraduate students, greater academic integration explained the connection between character strengths (i.e., hope and gratitude) and institutional commitment, while controlling for social support (Browning et al., 2018). Browning, B. R., McDermott, R. C., Scaffa, M. E., Booth, N. R., & Carr, N. T. (2018). Character strengths and first-year college students’ academic persistence attitudes: An integrative model. The Counseling Psychologist, 46(5), 608-631. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0011000018786950
Israeli study shares the development and validation of a character strengths measure for elementary school-aged children (Shoshani & Shwartz, 2018). This measure is available for researchers in Hebrew and English on the VIA site, as a self-report for ages 7-12, courtesy of the developer, Anat Shoshani. Shoshani, A., & Shwartz, L. (2018). From character strengths to children’s well-being: Development and validation of the character strengths inventory for elementary school children. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, Article ID 2123. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02123
Strengths-spotting study of teachers and their classrooms finding that the strengths intervention was connected with improved student outcomes. Changes in teacher strengths-spotting explained the outcomes of classroom engagement, positive affect, and needs satisfaction (Quinlan et al., 2018). Quinlan, D., Vella-Brodrick, D. A., Gray, A., & Swain, N. (2018). Teachers matter: Student outcomes following a strengths intervention are mediated by teacher strengths spotting. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1-17. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-018-0051-7
Generally speaking, character education programs continue to be unclear and ill-defined. This paper uses recent literature to offer a prototype of seven features by which character education programs might be evaluated and discussed (McGrath, 2018). McGrath, R. E. (2018). What is character education? Development of a prototype. Journal of Character Education.
In a study of character strengths and adolescent peer relationships, the strengths deemed most desirable/important in a friend were honesty, humor, kindness, and fairness, and those most connected with higher peer acceptance were perspective, love, kindness, social intelligence, teamwork, leadership, and humor (Wagner, 2018). Wagner, L. (2018). Good character is what we look for in a friend: Character strengths are positively related to peer acceptance and friendship quality in early adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence. http://doi.org/10.1177/0272431618791286
A program to boost character strengths, positive emotions, and optimal experiences was tested on 9th grade adolescents. Elevations in self-esteem and life satisfaction, with stronger effects for girls, all relative to a comparison group, were found (Freire et al., 2018). Freire, T., Lima, I., Teixeira, A., Araújo, M. R., & Machado, A. (2018). Challenge: To be+. A group intervention program to promote the positive development of adolescents. Children and Youth Services Review, 87, 173-185. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.02.035
Among a diverse sample of thousands of youth between ages 9-19, researchers found character structure becomes more differentiated as youth develop into adolescence (Shubert et al., 2018). Shubert, J., Wray‐Lake, L., Syvertsen, A. K., & Metzger, A. (2018). Examining character structure and function across childhood and adolescence. Child Development. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13035
Argues for the importance of elements of character (i.e., inquisitiveness and self-control character strengths) as indicators of “character” even when they are not used to support moral ends (as long as they don’t support immoral ends). Emphasizes that character education programs should account for how character strengths can lead to nonmoral decision-making when environmental factors are encouraging poor choices (McGrath, 2017). McGrath, R. E. (2017). The essentials and complexities of character: Reflections on Nucci’s multi-faceted model. Journal of Character Education, 13(1), 27-32.
In the school context, a tripartite structure for character was noted (intellectual, interpersonal, and intrapersonal character strengths), resembling what has been found among adults who take the VIA Survey. Interpersonal strengths predicted positive peer relations and intrapersonal strengths predicted report card grades, while intellectual strengths predicted class participation (Park et al., 2017). Park, D., Tsukayama, E., Goodwin, G. P., Patrick, S., & Duckworth, A. L. (2017). A tripartite taxonomy of character: Evidence for intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intellectual competencies in children. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 48, 16-27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2016.08.001
Discusses practical applications of the Happy Classrooms Program which integrates character strengths, mindfulness, and other areas of positive psychology (Alzina & Paniello, 2017). Alzina, R. B., & Paniello, S. H. (2017). Psicología positiva, educación emocional y el Programa Aulas Felices [Positive psychology, emotional education and the Happy Classrooms Program]. Papeles del Psicólogo, 38(1), 58-65. http://dx.doi.org/10.23923/pap.psicol2017.2822
Using data from four studies evaluating youth character strengths in different settings, researchers examined youth from ages 7 to 26, with particular emphasis on the strength of hope (Callina et al., 2017). Callina, K. S., Johnson, S. K., Tirrell, J. M., Batanova, M., Weiner, M. B., & Lerner, R. M. (2017). Modeling pathways of character development across the first three decades of life: An application of integrative data analysis techniques to understanding the development of hopeful future expectations. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46(6), 1216-1237. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-017-0660-1
Presents the process and adaptation of the VIA Youth Survey for adolescents in Argentina, including reliability, construct validity, and exploratory factor analyses (Raimundi et al., 2017). Raimundi, M. J., Molina, M. F., Hernández-Mendo, A., & Schmidt, V. (2017). Adaptación Argentina del Inventario de Fortalezas en Adolescentes (VIA-Youth): Propiedades Psicométricas y Alternativas para su Factorización [Argentinean adaptation of the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths for Youth (VIA-Youth): Psychometric properties and alternatives for its factoring]. Revista Iberoamericana de Diagnóstico y Evaluación Psicologica, 45(3), 159-174. http://dx.doi.org/10.21865/RIDEP45.3.13
Reviews the literature on character development in schools, finding 42 evidence-based practices. They categorized these into 6 overarching categories: prioritization, relationships, intrinsic motivation, role models, pedagogy of empowerment, and developmental pedagogy (Berkowitz, Bier, & McCauley, 2017). Berkowitz, M. W., Bier, M. C., & McCauley, B. (2017). Toward a science of character education: Frameworks for identifying and implementing effective practices. Journal of Character Education, 13(1), 33-51.
In addition to discussing the adaptation and application of mindfulness and character strengths for parents and teachers helping children, a study conducted by Children Inc. is reported here that replicated data of Park and Peterson (2006) on the top character strengths in very young children, as discovered through analyses of parent interviews. Those top strengths include (in descending order): love, kindness, curiosity, humor, perseverance, creativity, love of learning, social intelligence, and bravery (Lottman, Zawaly, & Niemiec, 2017). Lottman, T., Zawaly, S., & Niemiec, R. M. (2017). Well-being and well-doing: Bringing mindfulness and character strengths to the early childhood classroom and home. In C. Proctor (Ed.), Positive psychology interventions in practice (pp. 83-105). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Longitudinal study of character and purpose development using survey and interview data from middle school students. The three character strengths studied (gratitude, perseverance, and compassion) showed small but significant correlations with purpose. The researchers argue for a study of the multidirectional development relationships for different character strengths (Malin, Liauw, & Damon, 2017). Malin, H., Liauw, I., & Damon, W. (2017). Purpose and character development in early adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Np. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-017-0642-3
In a study of 196 children taking the VIA Youth Survey, zest, love of learning, perseverance, and social intelligence showed the strongest positive relations to school-related positive affect while teamwork, hope, self-regulation, and love showed the strongest negative correlations with negative affect at school. Character strengths also showed an important relationship to school achievement (Weber, Wagner, & Ruch, 2016). Weber, M., Wagner, L., & Ruch, W. (2016). Positive feelings at school: On the relationships between students’ character strengths, school-related affect, and school functioning. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17, 341-355. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-014-9597-1
Discusses a comprehensive character strengths program (Thriving Learning Communities) being implemented in various public schools, and strategies for the gifted classroom setting to apply, balance, and appropriately match character strengths in the right situation (Bates-Krakoff, McGrath, Graves, & Ochs, 2016). Bates-Krakoff, J., McGrath, R. E., Graves, K., & Ochs, L. (2016). Beyond a deficit model of strengths training in schools: Teaching targeted strength use to gifted students. Gifted Education International. http://doi.org/10.1177/0261429416646210
Study of a hope intervention at a camp for children exposed to domestic violence and found hope and character strengths to not only be positively correlated but to improve following the intervention. Other character strengths included zest, perseverance, gratitude, self-regulation, social intelligence, and curiosity (Hellman & Gwinn, 2016). Hellman, C. M., & Gwinn, C. (2016). Camp hope as an intervention for children exposed to domestic violence: A program evaluation of hope, and strength of character. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal. Np. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10560-016-0460-6
Reviews specific, successful, and brief positive psychology interventions around strengths, gratitude, mindfulness, and positive relationships for benefiting student learning and well-being (Shankland & Rosset, 2016). Shankland, R., & Rosset, E. (2016). Review of brief school-based positive psychological interventions: A taster for teachers and educators. Educational Psychology Review. Np. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-016-9357-3
Several publications present perspective on the integration of character strengths and the field of positive humanities, such as children’s literature (Showalter, 2016) and especially into school curriculum, such as literature classes (FitzSimons, 2015) and poetry in foreign language classes (Piasecka, 2016).
1. FitzSimons, E. (2015). Character education: A role for literature in cultivating character strengths in adolescence. In M. A. White, & S. A. Murray (Eds.), Evidence-based approaches in positive education: Implementing a strategic framework for well-being in schools (pp. 135-150). New York, NY: Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9667-5_7
2. Piasecka, L. (2016). Activating character strengths through poetic encounters in a foreign language—A case study. In D. Gabryś-Barker, & D. Gałajda (Eds.). (2016). Positive psychology perspectives on foreign language learning and teaching (pp. 75-92). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
3. Showalter, R. A. (2016). Virtue and vice in children’s literature: A content analysis of best-selling American picture books. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 76(10-B(E)), Np.
Investigated several VIA character strengths and parenting in Hong Kong, finding significant positive effects for parental care and negative effects for parental control on honesty/authenticity, bravery, perseverance, kindness, love, social intelligence, fairness and self-regulation (Ngai, 2015). Ngai, S. S. Y. (2015). Parental bonding and character strengths among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 20(3), 317-333. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02673843.2015.1007879
Eighth grade students participating in an intervention program involving five, 1-hour character strengths classroom activities had significant benefits to well-being compared to those in a comparison group (Oppenheimer et al., 2014). Oppenheimer, M. F., Fialkov, C., Ecker, B., & Portnoy, S. (2014). Teaching to strengths: Character education for urban middle school students. Journal of Character Education, 10(2), 91-105.
Examines four types of “class clown” behaviors and character strengths profiles therein. In general, class clowns were higher in humor and leadership (75% had humor as a signature strength) and lower in prudence, self-regulation, humility, honesty, fairness, perseverance, and love of learning (Ruch, Platt, & Hofmann, 2014). Ruch, W., F., Platt, T., & Hofmann, J. (2014). The character strengths of class clowns. Frontiers in Psychology.
Flagship article on VIA in education arguing for a more individualized approach to the application of character strengths in education as differentiated from monolithic and one-size-fits-all (traditional) approaches to character that predominate both past and present. Presents research-based strengths practices for classrooms, schools, and educators (Linkins, Niemiec, Gillham, & Mayerson, 2014). Linkins, M., Niemiec, R. M., Gillham, J., & Mayerson, D. (2014). Through the lens of strength: A framework for educating the heart. Journal of Positive Psychology. http://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2014.888581
Examined a 6-session, character strengths program for 9-12 year-olds in a classroom setting compared with non-randomized controls. After 3 months, the strengths group scored significantly higher on class cohesion and relatedness need satisfaction and lower on class friction, in addition to higher positive emotion, classroom engagement, and strengths use (Quinlan, Swain, Cameron, & Vella-Brodrick, 2014). Quinlan, D. M., Swain, N., Cameron, C., & Vella-Brodrick, D.A. (2014). How ‘other people matter’ in a classroom-based strengths intervention: Exploring interpersonal strategies and classroom outcomes. Journal of Positive Psychology. http://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2014.920407
Reviewed 13 school intervention programs that are based in character strengths and summarized the interventions as helping to improve school performance, decrease bad classroom behavior, and enhance social relationships and academic motivation (Grinhauz & Castro Solano, 2014). Grinhauz, A. S., & Castro Solano, A. (2014). A review of school intervention programs based on character strengths. Acta Psiquiátrica y Psicológica de América Latina, 60(2), 121-129.-
Describes 5 character strengths initiatives woven into a large school (K-12), involving strengths in sport, student leadership, counseling, and English curriculum (White & Waters, 2014). White, M. A., & Waters, L. E. (2014). A case study of ‘The Good School:’ Examples of use of Peterson’s strengths-based approach with students. Journal of Positive Psychology. http://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2014.920408
Longitudinal study revealing character virtues stability over three years for children between the ages of 12 and 14. Overall the virtues were stable across the three years with a slight increase in the virtues of humanity and justice, and girls scored higher than boys across the six VIA virtues over three assessment periods (Ferragut, Blanca, & Ortiz-Tallo, 2014). Ferragut, M., Blanca, M. J., & Ortiz-Tallo, M. (2014). Psychological virtues during adolescence: A longitudinal study of gender differences. European Journal of Development Psychology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.108/17405629.2013.876403
High poverty, high performing adolescents from 3 urban schools experienced a focus on “performance character” or “moral character.” A moral character focus led to significantly higher levels of integrity while performance character focus led to significantly higher levels of perseverance and community connectedness (Seider, Novick, & Gomez, 2013). Seider, S., Novick, S., & Gomez, J. (2013). The effects of privileging moral or performance character development in urban adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 33 (6), 786-820.
In a longitudinal study of adolescent’ transition to middle school, intellectual and temperance strengths predicted school performance and achievement, interpersonal strengths related to school social functioning, and temperance and transcendence strengths predicted well-being (Shoshani & Slone, 2012). Shoshani, A., & Slone, M. (2012). Middle school transition from the strengths perspective: Young adolescents’ character strengths, subjective well-being, and school adjustment. Journal of Happiness Studies.
In a study of children’s adjustment to first grade, parents’ intellectual, interpersonal, and temperance strengths related to their child’s school adjustment, while the children’s intellectual, interpersonal, temperance, and transcendence strengths related to first-grade adjustment (Shoshani & Ilanit Aviv, 2012). Shoshani, A., & Ilanit Aviv, I. (2012). The pillars of strength for first-grade adjustment – Parental and children’s character strengths and the transition to elementary school. Journal of Positive Psychology, 7 (4), 315-326.
In a study of adolescents’ character strengths and career/vocational interests, intellectual strengths were related to investigative and artistic career interests, transcendence and other-oriented strengths were related to social career interests, and leadership strengths were associated with enterprising career interests (Proyer, Sidler, Weber, & Ruch, 2012). Proyer, R. T., Sidler, N., Weber, M., & Ruch, W. (2012). A multi-method approach to studying the relationship between character strengths and vocational interests in adolescents. International Journal for Educational and Vocational Guidance, 12 (2), 141-157.
In a study of adolescent romantic relationships, honesty, humor, and love were the most preferred character strengths in an ideal partner (Weber & Ruch, 2012a). Weber, M., & Ruch, W. (2012a). The role of character strengths in adolescent romantic relationships: An initial study on partner selection and mates’ life satisfaction. Journal of Adolescence.
Character strengths of the mind (e.g., self-regulation, perseverance, love of learning) were predictive of school success (Weber & Ruch, 2012b). Weber, M., & Ruch, W. (2012b). 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.
In a study of the VIA Youth Survey, five strengths factors emerged and were independently associated with well-being and happiness (Toner, Haslam, Robinson, & Williams, 2012). Toner, E., Haslam, N., Robinson, J., & Williams, P. (2012). Character strengths and wellbeing in adolescence: Structure and correlates of the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths for Children. Personality and Individual Differences, 52 (5), 637-642.
A study of 319 adolescent students between the ages of 12-14 were divided into two groups in which 2/3 received character strengths-builder activities and strengths challenges within the school curriculum (called Strengths Gym), and 1/3 did not; those who participated in strengths experienced increased in life satisfaction compared to the controls (Proctor et al., 2011). Proctor, C., Tsukayama, E., Wood, A., M., Maltby, J., Fox Eades, J., & Linley, P. A. (2011). Strengths gym: The impact of a character strengths-based intervention on the life satisfaction and well-being of adolescents. Journal of Positive Psychology, 6 (5), 377-388.
Among high school students, other-oriented strengths (e.g., kindness, teamwork) predicted fewer depression symptoms while transcendence strengths (e.g., spirituality) predicted greater life satisfaction (Gillham et al., 2011). Gillham, J., Adams-Deutsch, Z., Werner, J., Reivich, K., Coulter-Heindl, V., Linkins, M., Winder, B., Peterson, C., Park, N., Abenavoli, R., Contero, A., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Character strengths predict subjective well-being during adolescence. Journal of Positive Psychology, 6 (1), 31-44.
Reviews exercises and examples of applying siganture strengths in classroom work, classroom management, and curriculum, e.g., in art, history, language arts, transitions, service, and community (Molony & Henwood, 2010). Molony, T., & Henwood, M. (2010). Signature strengths in positive psychology. Communique, 38 (8), 15-16.
Positive education programming which heavily involves character strengths assessment and intervention led to improved student school skills and greater student enjoyment and engagement in school (e.g., improved curiosity, love of learning, and creativity; Seligman et al., 2009). Seligman, M. E. P., Ernst, R. M., Gillham, J., Reivich, K., & Linkins, M. (2009). Positive education: Positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford Review of Education, 35 (3), 293-311.
Among a Chinese sample, teachers high in zest, hope, and emotional strengths tended to experience more positive emotion, greater life satisfaction, and less negative emotions (Chan, 2009). Chan, D. W. (2009). The hierarchy of strengths: Their relationships with subjective wellbeing among Chinese teachers in Hong Kong. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25 (6), 867-875.
The most prevalent character strengths in very young children are love, kindness, creativity, curiosity, and humor (Park & Peterson, 2006a). Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2006a). Character strengths and happiness among young children: Content analysis of parental descriptions. Journal of Happiness Studies, 7, 323-341.
When compared with U.S. adults, youth from the U.S. are higher on the character strengths of hope, teamwork, and zest and adults are higher on appreciation of beauty & excellence, honesty, leadership, open-mindedness (Park & Peterson, 2006b). Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2006b). Moral competence and character strengths among adolescents: The development and validation of the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths for Youth. Journal of Adolescence, 29, 891-905.
Convergence of strengths between parents and child are modest except for spirituality where it is substantial (Peterson & Seligman, 2004). Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. New York: Oxford University Press and Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Character strengths with a developmental trajectory (least common in youth and increase over time through cognitive maturation) are appreciation of beauty & excellence, forgiveness, modesty, open-mindedness (Park & Peterson, 2006a; 2006b). 1. Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2006a). Character strengths and happiness among young children: Content analysis of parental descriptions. Journal of Happiness Studies, 7, 323-341. 2. Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2006b). Moral competence and character strengths among adolescents: The development and validation of the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths for Youth. Journal of Adolescence, 29, 891-905.
Focus groups with 459 high school students from 20 high schools found that students largely believe the 24 VIA strengths are acquired and that the strengths develop through ongoing experience, the students cited minimal character strength role models, and they particularly valued the strengths of love of learning, perspective, love, social intelligence, leadership, and spirituality (Steen, Kachorek, & Peterson, 2003). Steen, T. A., Kachorek, L. V., & Peterson, C. (2003). Character strengths among youth. Journal of Youth & Adolescence, 32 (1), 5-16.
This study examines various occupational subgroups (nurses, physicians, supervisors, office workers, clinical psychologists, social workers/educators, economists, and secondary school teachers) and their highest strengths. It also showed several strengths that were most associated with overall job satisfaction – zest, hope, curiosity, love, and gratitude (Heintz & Ruch, 2019). Heintz, S., & Ruch, W. (2019). Character strengths and job satisfaction: Differential relationships across occupational groups and adulthood. Applied Research in Quality of Life. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-018-9691-3
Using daily questionnaires for 30 days with Norwegian naval cadets it was found that daily strengths use was positively related to daily positive affect and work engagement. They emphasize two additional practical points – within this context involving these cadets, strengths use worked best for those high in extraversion and low in neuroticism, and that organizations/managers should support employee strengths use because it makes the employee more energized and dedicated at work (Bakker et al., 2019). Bakker, A. B., Hetland, J., Olsen, O. K., & Espevik, R. (2019). Daily strengths use and employee well‐being: The moderating role of personality. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 92(1), 144-168. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joop.12243
The identification, development, and use of strengths among employees had a direct effect on self-efficacy and an indirect effect on personal growth initiative, with greater impact on those with low to medium self-efficacy (van Woerkom & Meyers, 2019). van Woerkom, M., & Meyers, M. C. (2019). Strengthening personal growth: The effects of a strengths intervention on personal growth initiative. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 92(1), 98-121. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joop.12240
Examines the role of perceived organizational support for strengths use in which age was found to be a moderator for work performance. This indicates the importance of younger professionals feeling their strengths are supported at work (Meyers et al. 2019). Meyers, M. C., Kooij, D., Kroon, B., de Reuver, R., & van Woerkom, M. (2019). Organizational support for strengths use, work engagement, and contextual performance: The moderating role of age. Applied Research in Quality of Life. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-018-9702-4
In a study of the character strengths in counselors, counselors scored at significantly higher levels on 13 of the 24 strengths, such as love of learning, perspective, and social intelligence. Prudence, hope, love, perspective, and zest predicted meaningful work while prudence, hope, forgiveness, honesty, and self-regulation predicted burnout (Allan, Owens, & Douglass, 2019). Allan, B. A., Owens, R. L., & Douglass, R. P. (2019). Character strengths in counselors: Relations with meaningful work and burnout. Journal of Career Assessment, 27(1), 151-166. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1069072717748666
Reviews connections between the 24 character strengths and a range of work-related outcomes and found that the highest strengths differed based on the facet of job satisfaction, the age of the participants, and the particular occupation. The highest overall work satisfaction strengths as well as the highest strengths among clinical psychologists, social workers, nurses, physicians, supervisors, office workers, teachers, and economists are shown (Heintz & Ruch, 2018). Heintz, S., & Ruch, W. (2018). Character strengths and job satisfaction: Differential relationships across occupational groups and adulthood.
In studying a new model of 7 team roles, most roles contributed to job satisfaction and work calling, and only a few relationships were found for ideal roles (Gander et al., 2018). Gander, F., Ruch, W., Platt, T., Hofmann, J., & Elmer, T. (2018). Current and ideal team roles: Relationships to job satisfaction and calling. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 4(3), 277-289. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/tps0000165
Examines the impactful role of character strengths in the workplace as well as offers a critique of character strengths and an emphasis on the crucial role of humility in leadership, following recent research literatures (Bretherton & Niemiec, 2018). Bretherton, R., & Niemiec, R. M. (2018). Character strengths as critique: The power of positive psychology to humanise the workplace. In N. J. L. Brown, T. Lomas, & F. J. Eiroa-Orosa (Eds.), Routledge international handbooks. The Routledge international handbook of critical positive psychology (pp. 315-336). New York, NY, US: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
In a study of ethical leadership among U.S. Air Force officers and subordinates, leader character strengths were a mechanism for triggering positive outcomes when they reported high self-regulation. This strength put other strengths of ethical leadership into action such as honesty/humility, empathy, and courage (Sosik et al., 2018). Sosik, J. J., Chun, J. U., Ete, Z., Arenas, F. J., & Scherer, J. A. (2018). Self-control puts character into action: Examining how leader character strengths and ethical leadership relate to leader outcomes. Journal of Business Ethics. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-018-3908-0
A positive association was found between the character strengths of wisdom and creative work performance among over 700 employees from 200 organizations in Pakistan (Kalyar & Kalyar, 2018). Kalyar, M. N., & Kalyar, H. (2018). Provocateurs of creative performance: Examining the roles of wisdom character strengths and stress. Personnel Review, 47(2), 334-352. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/PR-10-2016-0286
Character strengths and character strengths-related person-job fit played a central role in work-related outcomes. Signature strengths fit and the character strengths of creativity and teamwork were the strongest predictors (Harzer et al., 2017). Harzer C., Mubashar T., & Dubreuil P. (2017). Character strengths and strength-related person-job fit as predictors of work-related wellbeing, job performance, and workplace deviance. Wirtschaftspsychologie, 19(3), 23-38.
Workplace study found that the most important predictors of work-related outcomes were signature strengths fit (signature strengths that are applied at work) and the strengths of teamwork and creativity. Those character strengths that most highly correlated with total workplace well-being (positive emotions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning, and achievement) were zest, teamwork, hope, love, gratitude, leadership, and perseverance (Harzer, Mubashar, & Dubreuil). Harzer C., Mubashar T., & Dubreuil P. (2017). Character strengths and strength-related person-job fit as predictors of work-related wellbeing, job performance, and workplace deviance. Wirtschaftspsychologie, 19(3), 23-38.
Experimental field study of job crafting finding that an intervention on job crafting led to strengths crafting for older but not younger workers, and strengths crafting was positively connected with a fit between demands and supplies (i.e., person-job fit). The job crafting intervention did not influence job crafting toward employee interests (Kooij et al., 2017). Kooij, D. T. A. M., van Woerkom, M., Wilkenloh, J., Dorenbosch, L., & Denissen, J. J. A. (2017). Job crafting towards strengths and interests: The effects of a job crafting intervention on person–job fit and the role of age. Journal of Applied Psychology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/apl0000194
Examines the impact of strengths for employee functioning and discusses antecedents for strengths use, such as organizational support, personal initiative, autonomy, and development opportunities (Bakker & van Woerkom, 2017). Bakker, A. B., & van Woerkom, M. (2017). Strengths use in organizations: A positive approach of occupational health. _Canadian Psychology._Np. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/cap0000120
A new model of role behavior in teams is presented and validated. Seven team roles, originally theorized by the VIA Institute on Character, were found to relate positively to job satisfaction. The roles include: idea creator, information gatherer, decision-maker, implementer, influencer, energizer, and relationship manager (Ruch et al., 2016). Ruch, W., Gander, F., Platt, T., & Hofmann, J. (2016). Team roles: Their relationships to character strengths and job satisfaction. Journal of Positive Psychology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2016.1257051
In a study of 1,031 working adults, signature strengths had the highest unique contribution to performance, organizational citizenship behavior, and lower counterproductive work behavior, while “happiness strengths” (zest, hope, etc.) had the highest unique contribution to work meaningfulness, engagement, and job satisfaction (Littman-Ovadia, Lavy, & Boiman-Meshita, 2016a). Littman-Ovadia, H., Lavy, S., & Boiman-Meshita, M. (2016a). When theory **and research collide: Examining **correlates of signature strengths use at work. Journal of Happiness Studies. Advance online publication
In a workplace study of 120 participants, it was supervisor support, not colleague support, of employee strengths use that was predictive of increased strengths use the next day (Lavy, Littman-Ovadia, & Boiman-Meshita, 2016b). Lavy, S., Littman-Ovadia, H., & Boiman-Meshita, M. (2016b). The wind beneath my wings: The role of social support in enhancing the use of strengths at work. Journal of Career Assessment.
A workplace intervention study found a 3-step approach to strengths work to increase participants’ strengths use and well-being while those reporting highest strengths use had significant increases in work performance and harmonious passion; no significant differences were found for concentration or vitality (Dubreuil et al., 2016). This study provides further validation for the popular Aware-Explore-Apply model of strengths use proposed by Niemiec (2013; 2014; 2018). Dubreuil, P., Forest, J., Gillet, N., Fernet, C., Thibault-Landry, A., Crevier-Braud, L., & Girouard, S. (2016). Facilitating well-being and performance through the development of strengths at work: Results from an intervention program. Journal of Applied Positive Psychology. http://doi.org/10.1007/s41042-016-0001-8
A controlled trial of a strengths intervention in the workplace that found that the strengths intervention (compared to a waitlist control group) showed short-term increases in positive affect and short- and long-term increases in psychological capital but not life satisfaction, engagement, or burnout (Meyers & van Woerkom, 2016). Meyers, M. C., & van Woerkom, M. (2016). Effects of a strengths intervention on general and work-related well-being: The mediating role of positive affect. Journal of Happiness Studies. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-016-9745-x
Perceived organizational support for strengths use and for strengths use behavior was positively related to self- and manager-ratings of job performance, while perceived organizational support for deficit correction and for deficit correction behavior were unrelated to performance ratings (van Woerkom et al., 2016). van Woerkom, M., Mostert, K., Els, C., Bakker, A. B., de Beer, L., & Rothmann, S. (2016). Strengths use and deficit correction in organizations: Development and validation of a questionnaire. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, http://doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2016.1193010
In a study of 832 employees across 96 departments, strengths use support reduced absenteeism among workers with a high workload and high emotional demands (van Woerkom, Bakker, & Nishii, 2016). van Woerkom, M., Bakker, A. B., & Nishii, L. H. (2016). Accumulative job demands and support for strength use: Fine-tuning the job demands-resources model using conservation of resources theory. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101 (1), 141–150.
Character strengths use at work is connected with not only job satisfaction but also productivity and organizational citizenship behavior. These connections are explained by high positive emotions and engagement (Lavy & Littman-Ovadia, 2016). Lavy, S., & Littman-Ovadia, H. (2016). My better self: Using strengths at work and work productivity, organizational citizenship behavior and satisfaction. Journal of Career Development, 1-15. http://doi.org/10.1177/0894845316634056
In a workplace study involving 686 participants, the character strength of perseverance was the strength most associated with work productivity and least associated with counter-productive work behaviors. This was best explained by the workers’ sense of meaning at work and perceptions of work-as-a-career and as-a-calling (Littman-Ovadia & Lavy, 2016). Littman-Ovadia, H., & Lavy, S. (2016). Going the extra mile: Perseverance as a key character strength at work. Journal of Career Assessment, 24(2), 240–252. http://doi.org/10.1177/1069072715580322
In 2 workplace samples (a mixed group of several occupations and a nurses group), character strengths were connected with improved coping with work stress and decrease the negative effects of stress (Harzer & Ruch, 2015). Harzer, C., & Ruch, W. (2015). The relationships of character strengths with coping, work-related stress, and job satisfaction. Frontiers in Psychology. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00165
In a study of nearly 10,000 New Zealand workers that examined indicators of flourishing, workers who reported a high awareness of their strengths had a 9.5 times more likely to be flourishing than those with low strengths awareness. Moreover, workers who reported high strengths use were 18 times more likely to be flourishing than those with low strengths use (Hone et al., 2015). Hone, L. C., Jarden, A., Duncan, S., & Schofield, G. M. (2015). Flourishing in New Zealand workers: Associations with lifestyle behaviors, physical health, psychosocial, and work-related indicators. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 57(9), 973-983.
Study found that organizational support for strengths use was positively related to weekly strengths use at work, which in turn was positively related to weekly work engagement and proactive behavior (mediated by self-efficacy) (van Woerkom, Oerlemans, & Bakker, 2015). van Woerkom, M., Oerlemans, W., & Bakker, A. B. (2015): Strengths use and work engagement: a weekly diary study, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. http://doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2015.1089862
Discusses the integration of virtues, character strengths, and competencies in an approach to management (Morales‐Sánchez & Cabello‐Medina, 2015). Morales‐Sánchez, R., & Cabello‐Medina, C. (2015). Integrating character in management: Virtues, character strengths, and competencies. Business Ethics: A European Review, 24 (2), S156-S174. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/beer.12104
Study of performance monitoring in call centers over a 6-month period finding that performance was related to wisdom character strengths, temperance character strengths, exercise, and having opportunities to develop, while performance was negatively related to character strengths of humanity and justice (Moradi et al., 2014). Moradi, S., Nima, A. A., Ricciardi, M. R., Archer, T., & Garcia, D. (2014). Exercise, character strengths, well-being, and learning climate in the prediction of performance over a 6-month period at a call center. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, Article 497.
In a study of 442 employees across 39 departments in 8 organizations, a strengths-based psychological climate was linked with positive affect and work performance (van Woerkom & Meyers, 2014). van Woerkom, M., & Meyers, M. C. (2014). My strengths count! Effects of a strengths-based psychological climate on positive affect and job performance. Human Resource Management.
Character strengths were related to job performance across two samples of employees (Harzer & Ruch, 2014). Harzer, C., & Ruch, W. (2014). The role of character strengths for task performance, job dedication, interpersonal facilitation, and organizational support. Human Performance. 27(3), 183-205. http://doi.org/10.1080/08959285.2014.913592
This research team examined a variety of activities relating to authentic self-expression among employees for themselves, their colleague relationships, and teamwork. Positive results such as less turnover and burnout, higher work engagement, satisfaction, and performance, and greater feelings of social worth were found (Cable, Gino, & Staats, 2013; Cable et al., 2015; Lee et al., 2016). Cable, D. M., Gino, F., & Staats, B. R. (2013). Breaking them in or eliciting their best? Reframing socialization around newcomers’ authentic self-expression. Administrative Science Quarterly, 58(1), 1-36.
The use of strengths at work was connected with work performance, and this relationship is explained by vitality, concentration, and harmonious passion (Dubreuil, Forest, & Courcy, 2013). Dubreuil, P., Forest, J., & Courcy, F. (2013). From strengths use to work performance: The role of harmonious passion, subjective vitality and concentration. Journal of Positive Psychology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2014.898318
Employees who used four or more of their signature strengths had more positive work experiences and were more likely to consider their work-as-a-calling than those who expressed less than four (Harzer & Ruch, 2012a). Harzer, C., & Ruch, W. (2012a). When the job is a calling: The role of applying one’s signature strengths at work. Journal of Positive Psychology.
Regardless of which character strengths are used, the congruent use of strengths in the situational circumstances at work is important for fostering job satisfaction, pleasure, engagement, and meaning in one’s job (i.e., the alignment of one’s signature strengths with work activities is what matters; Harzer & Ruch, 2012b). Harzer, C., & Ruch, W. (2012b). The application of signature character strengths and positive experiences at work. Journal of Happiness Studies.
In a qualitative case study of a management development program, a key finding was to help managers develop new “tools” and behaviors and core to these tools was signature strengths use (Berg & Karlsen, 2012). Berg, M. E., & Karlsen, J. T. (2012). An evaluation of management training and coaching. Journal of Workplace Learning, 24 (3), 177-199.
Across occupations, curiosity, zest, hope, gratitude, and spirituality are the Big 5 strengths associated with work satisfaction (Peterson et al., 2010). Peterson, C., Stephens, J. P., Park, N., Lee, F., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2010). Strengths of character and work. Oxford handbook of positive psychology and work. In Linley, P. A., Harrington, S., & Garcea, N. (Eds.). Oxford handbook of positive psychology and work(pp. 221-231). New York: Oxford University Press.
Among volunteer and paid workers, endorsing strengths is related to meaning, but both endorsing AND deploying strengths is connected to well-being (Littman-Ovadia & Steger, 2010). Littman-Ovadia, H., & Steger, M. (2010). Character strengths and well-being among volunteers and employees: Toward an integrative model. Journal of Positive Psychology, 5 (6), 419-430.
Character strengths use was connected with personal well-being and job satisfaction (Littman-Ovadia & Davidovitch, 2010). Littman-Ovadia, H., & Davidovitch, N. (2010). Effects of congruence and character-strength deployment on work adjustment and well-being. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 1 (3), 138-146.
Character strengths – especially zest, perseverance, hope, and curiosity – play a key role in health and ambitious work behavior (Gander, Proyer, Ruch, & Wyss, 2012). Gander, F., Proyer, R. T., Ruch, W., & Wyss, T. (2012). The good character at work: An initial study on the contribution of character strengths in identifying healthy and unhealthy work-related behavior and experience patterns. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health.
In a three-year thematic analysis of drivers of employee engagement, focusing on character strengths was among the three most crucial drivers (along with managing emotions and aligning purpose; Crabb, 2011). Specifically, employees are encouraged to identify, use, and alert others of their signature strengths as well as converse with managers about strengths use opportunities in the organization. Crabb, S. (2011). The use of coaching principles to foster employee engagement. The Coaching Psychologist,7 (1), 27-34.
In a unique study of top-level executive leaders of for-profit companies (studying only the strengths of honesty/integrity, bravery, perspective, social intelligence), each of these strengths were important for performance but honesty/integrity had the most contribution in explaining variance in executive performance (Sosik et al., 2012). Sosik, J. J., Gentry, W. A., & Chun, J. A. (2012). The value of virtue in the upper echelons: A multisource examination of executive character strengths and performance. Leadership Quarterly, 23, 367-382.
Examines short-term variations in employee well-being during the workday and finds important roles in humor, hope, and how work events are appraised; emphasizes the importance of cultivating signature strengths at work and interventions focused on leadership training (Xanthopoulou, Bakker, & Ilies, 2012). Xanthopoulou, D., Bakker, A. B., & Ilies, R. (2012). Everyday working life: Explaining within-person fluctuations in employee well-being. Human Relations, 65(9), 1051-1069. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0018726712451283
A study of strengths under the virtue of wisdom (creativity, curiosity, judgment, love of learning, and perspective) found them to be related to higher performance on a creative task and negatively related to stress (Avey et al., 2012). Avey, J.B., Luthans, F., Hannah, S.T., Sweetman, D., & Peterson, C. (2012). Impact of employees’ character strengths of wisdom on stress and creative performance. Human Resource Management Journal, 22 (2), 165-181.
Among 226 employees, the strengths under the virtue of transcendence – hope, humor, gratitude, and spirituality (not appreciation of beauty/excellence) – had a direct positive relationship with a calling work orientation (Gorjian, 2006). Gorjian, N. (2006). Virtue of transcendence in relation to work orientation, job satisfaction and turnover cognitions. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 67 (2-B), 1190.
Life satisfaction strengths, spiritual strengths, and community-building strengths do not appear to be overtly encouraged in the workplace; instead it is the temperance and hardworking strengths that are emphasized (Money et al., 2008). Money, K., Hillenbrand, C., & Camara, N. D. (2008). Putting positive psychology to work in organizations. Journal of General Management, 34 (2), 21-26.
Top 10 (rank order) strengths expressed at work: honesty, judgment, perspective, fairness, perseverance, love of learning, leadership, zest, curiosity, social intelligence. Money, K., Hillenbrand, C., & Camara, N. D. (2008). Putting positive psychology to work in organizations. Journal of General Management, 34 (2), 21-26.
Bottom 5 (starting with lowest) strengths expressed at work: religiousness/spirituality, appreciation of beauty/excellence, love, bravery, modesty/humility. Money, K., Hillenbrand, C., & Camara, N. D. (2008). Putting positive psychology to work in organizations. Journal of General Management, 34 (2), 21-26.
Strengths of which were determined to be a “high match” with work demands: only honesty, judgment, perspective, fairness, and zest. Money, K., Hillenbrand, C., & Camara, N. D. (2008). Putting positive psychology to work in organizations. Journal of General Management, 34 (2), 21-26.
Appreciation of beauty/excellence was the only strength determined to be a “low match” with work demands; the rest of the strengths were a “medium match.” Money, K., Hillenbrand, C., & Camara, N. D. (2008). Putting positive psychology to work in organizations. Journal of General Management, 34 (2), 21-26.
Work demands required the individual to use more of the following strengths than what is natural for them: perseverance, love of learning, leadership, curiosity, self-control, and prudence. Money, K., Hillenbrand, C., & Camara, N. D. (2008). Putting positive psychology to work in organizations. Journal of General Management, 34 (2), 21-26.
Work demands required less of these strengths than what is natural for the individual: social intelligence, gratitude, teamwork, hope, humor, creativity, kindness, forgiveness, modesty/humility, bravery, love, appreciation of beauty/excellence, spirituality. Money, K., Hillenbrand, C., & Camara, N. D. (2008). Putting positive psychology to work in organizations. Journal of General Management, 34 (2), 21-26.
In a study looking at the 5 character strengths under the transcendence virtue among 226 employees, 106 hospital nurses, and 120 child protective service social workers, several variables were examined. All the strengths (except appreciation of beauty/excellence) had a positive relationship with work-as-a-calling and hope, gratitude, and spirituality had a positive impact on work satisfaction through work-as-a-calling (Gorjian, 2006). Gorjian, N. (2006). Virtue of transcendence in relation to work orientation, job satisfaction and turnover cognitions. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 67(2-B), 1190.
Military study of West Point cadets with and without a family military background found that self-control-related character strengths were important predictors of performance for those with the family military background, whereas character strengths related to a drive to fully involve oneself and navigate relationships were better predictors of performance for cadets without a family military background (Gosnell et al., 2020).
Gosnell, C. L., Kelly, D. R., Ender, M. G., & Matthews, M. D. (2020). Character strengths and performance outcomes among military brat and non-brat cadets. Military Psychology, 32(2), 186–197. https://doi.org/10.1080/08995605.2019.1703434
Article examines the link between character strengths and stoicism, examining how character strengths can lead to being a “reflective warrior” who is guided by wisdom and determined action (Stricker et al., 2017). Stricker, A. G., Arenas, F. J., Westhauser, T. C., & Hawkins-Scribner, T. (2017). Positive education of stoic warriors as reflective practitioners in the profession of arms. Reflective Practice, 18(1), 133-146. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2016.1251415
Validated previous findings from studies in the Norwegian Military Academy as to the most important character strengths for military officers (Boe & Bang, 2017). Boe, O., & Bang, H. (2017). The big 12: The most important character strengths for military officers. Athens Journal of Social Sciences, 4(2), 161-173.
One study looked at the Australian Army Special Forces operators and support personnel, finding that character strengths of integrity, teamwork, and judgment were ranked significantly above random assignment (Gayton et al 2016). Gayton, S.D., Kehoe, E. J. (2016). The character strengths of special forces personnel: insights for civilian health care practitioners. Military Medicine, 181(9), 996–1001. https://doi.org/10.7205/MILMED-D-15-00440 **
Among the Australian Army Special Forces applicants, the highest character strengths were integrity/honesty, teamwork, perseverance, and love of learning, and the likelihood of passing the selection process was 2.6 times greater when teamwork was among the top strengths compared with teamwork not being listed. Interestingly, hardiness ratings revealed no significant differences (Gayton & Kehoe, 2015). Gayton, S. D., & Kehoe, E. J. (2015). Character strengths and hardiness of Australian army special forces applicants. Military Medicine, 180(8), 857-862. DOI: 10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00527
Examined which character strengths were most important in developing cadets in the Norwegian Military Academy. The character strengths of leadership, honesty, perseverance, bravery, teamwork, judgment, social intelligence, self-regulation and creativity were selected by both military and expert groups; in addition, perspective, fairness, and love of learning were chosen by the military group (Boe, Bang, & Nilsen, 2015). Boe, O., Bang, H., & Nilson, F. A. (2015). Selecting the most relevant character strengths for Norwegian Army officers: An educational tool. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 197, 801-809. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.07.188 **
Officers in the Indian army and civilian managers scored high in all 24 strengths but significant differences arose between the two groups on 14 strengths (Banth & Singh, 2011). Banth, S., & Singh, P. (2011). Positive character strengths in middle-rung army officers and managers in civilian sector. Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology, 37(2), 320-324.
Military students (in Argentina) reported higher character strengths scores than civilians; in addition, cadets with high academic or military performance in their final year had higher levels of perseverance than low-performing cadets in their final year (Cosentino & Castro Solano, 2012). Consentino, A. C., & Castro, A. (2012). Character strengths: A study of Argentinean soldiers. Spanish Journal of Psychology, 15(1), 199-215.
Honesty, hope, bravery, perseverance, and teamwork in a sample of U.S. and Norwegian military samples (Matthews et al., 2006). Matthews, M. D., Eid, J., Kelly, D., Bailey, J. K. S., & Peterson, C. (2006). Character strengths and virtues of developing military leaders: An international comparison. Military Psychology, 18(Suppl.), S57–S68
Military performance among West Point cadets was predicted by the character strength of love (Peterson & Park, 2009). Peterson, C., & Park, N. (2009). Classifying and measuring strengths of character. In S. J. Lopez & C. R. Snyder (Eds.), Oxford handbook of positive psychology, 2nd edition (pp. 25-33). New York: Oxford University Press.
Military leaders’ character strength of humor predicted their followers’ trust while followers’ character strength of perspective earned their leaders’ trust (Sweeney et al., 2009). Sweeney, P., Hannah, S. T., Park, N., Peterson, C., Matthews, M., & Brazil, D. (2009). Character strengths, adaptation, and trust. Paper presented at the International Positive Psychology Association conference on June 19, 2009