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.
|Advisor:||Lampropoulos, Georgios K.|
|Commitee:||Joiner, Thomas, Pfeiffer, Steven I., Sampson, James P.|
|School:||The Florida State University|
|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|
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