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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.; Roepke, Ann Marie

Authors

Stephen M. Schueller schueller@northwestern.edu

Eranda Jayawickreme jayawide@wfu.edu

Laura E.R. Blackie laura.blackie@nottingham.ac.uk

Marie, J.C. Forgeard mforgeard@mclean.harvard.edu

Ann Marie Roepke aroepke@sas.upenn.edu



Abstract

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.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 29, 2014
Journal Journal of Positive Psychology
Print ISSN 1743-9760
Electronic ISSN 1743-9779
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 1
APA6 Citation Schueller, S. M., Jayawickreme, E., Blackie, L. E., Forgeard, M. J., & Roepke, A. M. (2014). Finding character strengths through loss: an extension of Peterson and Seligman (2003). Journal of Positive Psychology, 10(1), doi:10.1080/17439760.2014.920405
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2014.920405
Keywords Character strengths, Posttraumatic growth, VIA-IS, Development, Traumatic events
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17439760.2014.920405
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information The Version of
Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in Journal of Positive Psychology 2014 http://www.tandfonline....80/17439760.2014.920405

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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