Which character strengths lead to good achievement?
An article previously published in Frontiers in Psychology by Lisa Wagner and Willibald Ruch reported on two studies conducted with 179 primary students from three schools, and 199 secondary students from four schools in Switzerland to examine whether character strengths are important to school success for primary and secondary students.
The authors measured character strengths by the Value in Action Inventory of Strengths for Youth (VIA-Youth,) and positive classroom behaviors with the Classroom Behavior Rating Scale (CBRS), which cover positive achievement-related behavior and positive social behavior. For primary students, achievement was obtained by teacher ratings; for secondary students, the schools' administration offices provided their grades. The findings showed that:
Perseverance, prudence, hope, social intelligence, and self-regulation were positively related to positive classroom behavior for both primary and secondary students.
Perseverance, prudence, hope, love of learning, perspective, zest, and gratitude were positively related to school achievement for both primary and secondary students.
Perseverance, prudence, and hope were associated with both positive classroom behavior and school achievement across primary and secondary sectors.
According to the authors, these findings indicate there is a rather distinct set of strengths most relevant in schools. The authors also suggest that further research could explore whether teachers and students value these strengths.
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