Personality strengths as resilience factors: The importance of lagged analyses and the power of hope

[Speaker] Goodman, Fallon R:1
[Co-author] Disabato, David J:1, Kashdan, Todd B:1, Machell, Kyla A:1
1:George Mason University (United States of America)

Every human being seeks to handle adversity with aplomb. This study examined whether certain personality strengths acted as resilience factors when individuals experienced negative life events (NLE). At five timepoints across one year, 797 participants from 42 countries completed questionnaires measuring seven personality strengths (hope, grit, meaning in life, curiosity, gratitude, control beliefs, use of strengths), subjective well-being, and NLE. Using hierarchical linear modeling, results from lagged analyses found that only hope emerged as a resilience factor (i.e., mitigated the effect of NLE on subjective well-being). We offer multiple explanations for this finding related to goal pursuit, flexibility, and attainment. To illustrate potential pitfalls of conflating causes with consequences, non-lagged analyses were conducted; results suggest that all seven personality strengths seemingly operated as resilience factors. Taken together, this study offers insight into what personality dimensions help maintain well-being following adversity, and highlights the importance of temporal precedence in resilience research.
Advanced Search