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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Relationships Between Signature Strengths Use, Depression, and Personal Impairment
by Hall-Simmonds, Ashley Jessica, Ph.D., Fairleigh Dickinson University, 2021, 107; 28262447
Abstract (Summary)

The connection between character strengths and mental disorders represents a significant topic of interest to positive psychologists and clinical researchers. Several models have already been proposed for integrating character strengths from the VIA Classification with diagnoses and symptom profiles. Hall-Simmonds and McGrath (2019) proposed an alternative model that focuses on signature strengths, defined as particularly central character strengths to the individual, as moderators of psychopathology. The present study is the first to investigate this relationship. A sample of 399 adults with self-report scores indicative of depression were recruited online through the VIA Institute on Character website after completing the VIA Inventory of Strength (Peterson & Seligman, 2004). Across 24 regression analyses, social intelligence was the only signature strength found to moderate the relationship between depression and functional impairment. A qualitative exploratory analysis was also conducted concerning participants’ perceptions of their signature strengths. Three main categories emerged from the exploratory analysis: social connection, identity and personal values, and goal attainment. Both protective and risk factors were identified for all three categories. It was concluded that despite limited statistical evidence, overused signature strengths were perceived to have an impact on one’s ability to cope with depression. Participants were likely to view their signature strengths as either helpful or harmful based on their ability to use social support systems effectively, act in accordance with one’s values and identity, or to achieve a desired outcome.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McGrath, Robert
Commitee: Dumont, Ronald, Mayerson, Neal, McGlinchey, Eleanor
School: Fairleigh Dickinson University
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 82/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Cognitive psychology, Mental health, Individual & family studies, Social psychology, Behavioral psychology
Keywords: Depression, Personal impairment, Positive psychology, Signature strengths, VIA-IS
Publication Number: 28262447
ISBN: 9798557092739
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