Differential ratings and associations with well-being of character strengths in two communities

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Strengths are presumed to be universal characteristics that are possessed by all people and explain wellbeing. However, a few previous studies have demonstrated cultural differences in endorsement of certain strengths and in the contribution of certain strengths to well-being. These studies suggest that sociological factors may differentially affect strength endorsement and associations with well-being. In this study, we examined differences in personal strength endorsement and associations with well-being between two distinct Israeli community samples: (1) 97 religious female youth-leaders aged 18-20; and (2) 100 secular male police investigators aged 23-50. All participants completed the Virtues in Action survey and the well-being scale of the Mental Health Inventory. Results revealed significant differences between the samples on the ratings of eight strengths, and on the strengths most highly associated with well-being. The differential relevance of certain strengths to specific communities and their members' well-being is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-312
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Sociology Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Personal strengths
  • Signature strengths
  • Sociology
  • Virtues in action (VIA)
  • Well-being


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