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Satisfaction with Life: Examining the Impact of Character Strengths among Young People

By Carmel Laura Proctor

Abstract

Research has shown that the disease model of child development has not led to the prevention of antisocial behaviour or psychological disorders in youth. Recent findings have shown that the positive outcomes of moral education in the building of character strengths can be used as buffers against the development of both psychological and behavioural difficulties. Similarly, youth life satisfaction has been shown to have a buffering affect for adolescents and to be positively related to an array of desirable social and psychological characteristics. Primarily this research sought to examine whether the awareness of character strengths and the exercising of them through strengths-based exercises increases life satisfaction among adolescents.\ud This research also sought to develop student materials for the school curriculum designed to encourage students to exercise and learn about their strengths. Results revealed that awareness of individual character strengths is positively non-significantly related to increased mean life satisfaction. Participation in character strengths-based exercises is significantly related to increased life satisfaction among adolescents. Application of a character strengths-based programme in the school curriculum has an overall positive impact on life satisfaction, positive affect, and self-esteem.\ud Young people with very high levels of life satisfaction have significantly higher mean scores on multiple school, interpersonal, and intrapersonal variables than those with average and very low levels of life satisfaction. Results further indicate that young people with very low levels of life satisfaction would benefit most from interventions aimed at boosting those variables having the most influence on their level of life satisfaction. Generic strengths use is a strong unique predictor of subjective well-being among individuals for whom specific character strengths associated with a life of meaning are commonly-endorsed. Life satisfaction is positively associated with the characteristics identified as representative of the Rogerian fully functioning individual

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/9604

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