Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Effects of a brief character strengths intervention: A comparison of capitalization and compensation models
by Walker, Jerry V., III, Ph.D., The Florida State University, 2013, 238; 3612520
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to investigate the differential effects of the Capitalization vs. Compensation model applied to a brief, group-based intervention that focused on Character Strengths, as defined by Peterson and Seligman (2004). Traditional Character Strengths interventions in Positive Psychology apply a Capitalization model, in which individuals engage their top-ranked strengths of character, and this approach has amassed substantial empirical support. However, it is not known whether a Compensation model, in which individuals engage their bottom-ranked strengths, can offer similar benefits. One hundred and eighty-seven employees from eighteen small organizations were randomized at the group level to receive one of four psychoeducational interventions: Top Strengths, Bottom Strengths, Placebo (behavioral health), or a delayed-treatment Control. Participants completed the VIA Survey of Character Strengths and a pre-treatment battery of outcome measures that assessed both positive psychological variables, such as life satisfaction and psychological well-being, and negative life functioning variables, such as depression and negative affect. Post-treatment outcome measures and a compliance measure were completed approximately one month following the psychoeducational presentations. Results revealed few differences between experimental conditions for most measures; however, participants in the Bottom Strengths condition experienced a decrease in symptom distress and an increase in emotional well-being relative to those in the Placebo and Control conditions. Regression analyses revealed several interesting relationships between Character Strengths and outcome measures, with implications for applications in multiple fields. A discussion of methods to strengthen brief group-based interventions, as well as the future direction of Character Strengths interventions, concludes the paper.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lampropoulos, Georgios K.
Commitee: Joiner, Thomas, Pfeiffer, Steven I., Sampson, James P.
School: The Florida State University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-B 75/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Counseling Psychology, Organization Theory
Keywords: Brief interventions, Capitalization, Character strengths, Compensation, Positive psychology
Publication Number: 3612520
ISBN: 978-1-303-74112-8
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