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Are sequential sample designs useful for examining post-traumatic changes in character strengths?

Lamade, Raina V.; Jayawickreme, Eranda; Blackie, Laura E.R.; Mcgrath, Robert E.

Are sequential sample designs useful for examining post-traumatic changes in character strengths? Thumbnail


Raina V. Lamade

Eranda Jayawickreme

Robert E. Mcgrath


Previous research on differences in character strengths as a result of traumatic cultural events has relied on non-overlapping samples of individuals who completed online questionnaires before and after the event. This study expands on these previous studies by examining differences in self-reports of character strengths before, between, and after two terror attacks on Paris, France, in 2015, and further comparing these differences to contemporaneous differences in two other countries. Completers of the inventory during the same periods from the United States (N = 528,912) and Australia (N = 174,591) served as the comparison groups. After controlling for age and gender, six strengths in the French sample, nine strengths in the Australian sample and seven in the US sample remained significant. A clear discernable pattern did not emerge. Effect sizes were consistently miniscule, which when combined with very large samples may account for finding significance even though within-nation differences are unreliable.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 16, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 29, 2019
Publication Date Apr 29, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 2, 2019
Publicly Available Date May 2, 2019
Journal The Journal of Positive Psychology
Print ISSN 1743-9760
Electronic ISSN 1743-9779
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Character strengths; VIA inventory of strengths; terrorism
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope:; Received: 2018-10-06; Accepted: 2019-03-16; Published: 2019-04-29


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