Knowledge and use of character strengths as a factor of mental well-being in adulthood

[Speaker] Kebza, Vladimir:1
[Co-author] Blatny, Marek:2, Jelinek, Martin:2, Kodl, Miloslav:3, Kernova, Vera:3
1:Czech University of Life Siences (Czech Republic), 2:Institute of Psychology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno (Czech Republic), 3:National Institute of Public Health, Prague (Czech Republic)

According to current theoretical perspectives, mental health can be understood as the presence of multiple human strengths rather than the absence of weaknesses. In our research we considered whether the knowledge and use of an individual's strengths contributed to the prediction of mental well-being above personality traits, other important predictors of well-being. The sample consisted of 161 adults (91 women) aged 46-59 (m = 50.5, sd = 2.9). Respondents completed measures of personality traits (NEO-FFI), strengths use (Strengths Use and Current Knowledge Scale) and various indicators of mental health: self-esteem, self-efficacy, sense of coherence and life satisfaction. To test the associations we used sequential regression analysis with personality traits in the first block of variables and strengths use in the second block. We conclude that the addition of knowledge and use of strengths resulted in a statistically significant increase in the explained variance of all predicted indicators of well-being.
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