Assessing psychological health : the contribution of psychological strengths

MACASKILL, Ann and DENOVAN, Andrew (2014). Assessing psychological health : the contribution of psychological strengths. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 42 (3), 320-337.


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Balanced assessment of mental health involves assessing wellbeing and strengths as well as psychopathology. The character strengths of curiosity, gratitude, hope, optimism and forgiveness, are assessed in 214 new undergraduates and their relationships to mental health, subjective wellbeing and self-esteem explored. Scoring the mental health scale for psychiatric caseness, case and non-case students did not differ in character strengths, positive affect or life satisfaction, supporting a dual-factor model. Hope pathways and gratitude predicted mental health. Gratitude, hope agency and exploratory curiosity predicted positive affect. Gratitude and hope agency predicted life satisfaction. Hope agency, hope pathways, exploratory curiosity and gratitude predicted self-esteem, with absorption curiosity a negative predictor. The benefits of assessing strengths are discussed and interventions designed to develop them. Keywords: character strengths; mental health; subjective wellbeing; dual-factor mental health model; self-esteem

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Institute of Education
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Page Range: 320-337
Depositing User: Ann Macaskill
Date Deposited: 15 May 2014 13:07
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 04:38

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