Character strengths and well-being among volunteers and employees: Toward an integrative model

Hadassah Littman-Ovadia, Michael Steger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus citations


The endorsement and deployment of character strengths in occupational contexts are two promising components for understanding how people create well-being. In this study, a model integrating character strengths, satisfaction with occupational activities, and meaning and well-being was proposed and tested in two samples of volunteers and a sample of working adults. The model fit the data well in all three samples. Results demonstrated that deploying strengths at work provided key links to satisfaction with voluntary and paid occupational activities and to meaning among both young and middle-aged volunteers, and adult working women. Among adult volunteers and paid workers, endorsing strengths was related to meaning, while both endorsing and deploying strengths were related to well-being. Together, these studies provide a model for understanding how strengths may play a role in how both volunteer and paid workers find meaning, well-being, and satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-430
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Positive Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Character strengths
  • Job satisfaction
  • Life satisfaction
  • Meaning in life
  • Subjective well-being
  • VIA-IS (values in action inventory)
  • Vocational activities


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