Character Strengths in Adolescents Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1282 Words
Date:  2022-08-23

In the past, psychologists discovered adrift in psychology which fixated on social deficit and weakness, negative psychopathology and emotions, to the segregation of improving limited human success in every living aspect. They started to research things that contribute to the value of human life hence giving birth to the field of positive psychology. Positive psychology is a term that focuses on individuals character strengths, positive emotions, and improving learning institutions. The prosperity of adolescents has to do with their character strengths and positive individual experiences which contribute to one's well-being, optimism, happiness, and satisfaction. This paper explains the Values in Action Inventory of Strength (VIA), its creation and adoption, standards of positive psychology on character strength and it impacts adolescents in their lives as students.

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The use of VIA questionnaire comes in handy in recognizing adolescents character strengths and improve their wellbeing. Park and Peterson (2006) found that youths with sophisticated levels of leadership, hope, and zest portray low levels of anxiety and depression compared to those with lower levels of these strengths. Their research findings claim that character strengths in adolescents improve their well-being (Park & Peterson, 2006). The research contends that transcendence (hope, meaning, and gratitude) foresee life satisfaction, thus the need for adolescents to take the VIA test to develop an awareness of their character strengths.

The VIA survey is merely a simple self-evaluation which lasts for approximately fifteen minutes and gives information which helps individuals in understanding their main traits. Two prominent researchers in the school of positive psychology- Seligman and Peterson (2004)- foresaw the creation of this survey in an attempt to operationalize their handbook on Character Strengths and Virtues. The CSV is similar to the DSM but on the positive side. Majority of the personality surveys focuses on neutral and negative characters, but the VIA test concentrates on an individual's best traits. The VIA is a tool of positive psychology which is in use in several research studies and is taken by more than six million individuals worldwide contributing to improved teams, schools, and workplaces cultures globally (Park & Peterson, 2006).

The VIA assesses six core strengths, including transcendence, temperance, justice, humanity, courage, and wisdom (Rashid et al., 2013). Transcendence is the strengths which give meaning and link people with their surroundings. Temperance promotes balance and moderation. Justice is the political strength which supports the community's well-being. Humanity focuses on strong human abilities associated with the maintenance and development of interpersonal bonds. Courage reflects on the skills which ease the pursuit of goals when facing challenges. Wisdom is the cognitive aptitude which relates to the search and application of knowledge.

Peterson and Seligman (2004) contend that VIA needs is a useful tactic for helping adolescents identify their character strengths. With this awareness, individuals can then start capitalizing and building upon their character strengths. Heteronormative cultures portray and execute invisible customs and social norms on individuals and institutions (Miler, 2010). Learning institutions have begun to ultimately hold the logical approach which reinforces positive psychology on such groups which experience biological essentialism, sexual differences, and derivative sex and gender relationships by attaching psychological traits to each gender thus acting as support systems which underpin heteronormative perceptions.

Adolescence is a stage in which LGBT individuals start to contemplate revealing their sexual orientation to peers and the family. This move could lead to feelings of isolation and rejection in school and at home. In the LGBT population, measures of character strength can be adapted to depict an individual development and perception of a positive lesbian or gay identity by evaluating their feelings and beliefs regarding their sexuality. Whereas positive psychology is reaching out to several groups based on life experiences, gender and culture such as the heteronormative white male, there are few pieces of evidence on sexual orientations along these terms (Miller, 2010). The call for a broader attempt on positive experiences of LGBT populations is a necessity in pursuing character strengths of lesbian and gay adolescents to improve their well-being in the face of violence, harassment, and discrimination from their peers in schools and the society at large. These character strengths can be used to guide them through the struggle of fighting for their civil rights wellbeing in schools.

The school ought to embrace the VIA survey thoroughly on the students to reinforce positive psychology and control bullying issues. Teachers will be conversant with the big advantage of character strengths test over several facets of high school life such as in matters of student's needs and cases of bullying. For this reason, the institution ought to empirically test some characters of the adolescent's wellbeing. Positive psychologists assume that student's morality may be proficient through the frequent practice of its component character strengths like accomplishing the humanity virtue by being socially intelligent, loving, and kind to their peers.

In the educational sector, character strength assessment can recognize routes for individuals to flourish in school and later on at work, enhancing self-efficacy and motivation every adolescent whether or not they perform well in their academics, to continue succeeding in their lives. Strength-based knowledge also focuses on student-teacher relationships. When the tutor responds, they ought to be particular comments concentrate on the student's strength instead of just saying "Good job". School instructors mainly inspire students on their everyday activities hence the simple attempts to reinforce their strengths helps adolescents make a positive change in their school life (Rashid et al., 2013). Students lack critical knowledge of their powers and this lack of self-awareness usually the outcome of societal expectations, cultural norms, and personal traits. Therefore, VIAs on character strength attempt to improve the self-efficacy, engagement, and initiatives of adolescents.

Teachers could motivate students to identify ways of using their strengths, helping further progress their aptitudes, and participate in the learning process. The end goal of strength knowledge is engaged learning where adolescents meaningfully participate in the learning process, attend to current occurrences, and actively process their class experience. When learners acquire a positive learning experience, they usually share these skills with their peers, which may lead to positive feedbacks and a higher status for the institution.


In summary, most adolescents lack the cognitive maturity to demonstrate certain virtues and characters. For this reason, affirmative education programs ought to be in place to help adolescents focus on character strengths. There are particular character strengths in teenagers which have a vibrant influence on psychological well-being. These strengths require nurturing in ensuring lifelong satisfaction and fulfilment. The pursuit of philosophies and flourishing are acquired through virtues, whereas character strengths are more involved with everyday life. By including VIA tests in learning institutions, schools will intensify the chances of adolescents working to their opportunities, being aware of their strengths and nurturing long-term relations with their teachers, the administration, and peers thus reducing bullying. Character strengths analysis is also advantageous to the institution's requirement of remaining competitive and innovative.


Miller, D. J. (2010). Character strengths and virtues about well-being in gay and lesbian individuals. Retrieved from HYPERLINK ""

Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2006). Moral competence and character strengths among adolescents: The development and validation of the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths for Youth. Journal of Adolescence, 29(6), 891-909. HYPERLINK "" \o "Persistent link using digital object identifier" \t "_blank"

Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification (Vol. 1). Oxford University Press.

Rashid, T., Anjum, A., Lennox, C., Quinlan, D., Niemiec, R. M., Mayerson, D., &Kazemi, F. (2013). Assessment of character strengths in children and adolescents. In Research, applications, and interventions for children and adolescents (pp. 81-115). Springer, Dordrecht.

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