Explorations of subjective wellbeing and character strengths among a Greek university student sample

Sophie Leontopoulou, Sofia Triliva

Abstract


The present study brought together and examined two related, but distinct, concepts rooted in positive psychology, namely subjective wellbeing (SWB) and character strengths. It sought to assess the impact of a number of demographic and other sociological and psychological factors, including physical and mental health, on emerging adults’ outlook on life. This study also set out to validate and investigate the levels of wellbeing and character strengths in the context of a more collective, Mediterranean culture; that of Greece. Three hundred and twelve male and female students from two Greek Universities participated in the study, which consisted of a questionnaire battery, including measures of subjective wellbeing, character strengths and mental and physical health. Youths were found to have a positive outlook on life. Wisdom, courage and transcendence appeared to be the most salient among their character strengths, since character strengths were each highly and positively correlated with the wellbeing subscales of environmental mastery, purpose in life and self-acceptance. Good physical and mental health were positively related to, and reliably predicted different aspects of, both wellbeing and character strengths; nevertheless, mental health appeared to affect and predict more aspects of wellbeing and character strengths than physical health. The significance of the above findings for the field of positive psychology is discussed.


Keywords


subjective wellbeing, character strengths, mental and physical health, emerging adulthood, positive psychology

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