Imagine that you are a high school counselor. You want to introduce a program that enables students to take the VIA youth survey, which is a version of the strengths survey designed specifically for children between the ages of 10 and 17. Students will learn about their individual strengths and how they can apply them in areas of their lives (e.g., social relationships, cases of bullying, life challenges, peer groups, education, family relationships, or future career directions). Be sure that it includes the following:
Introduce positive psychology standards and findings of the importance of character strengths.
Explain the VIA survey. Include how it was created and what strengths it assesses.
Discuss how the VIA survey has been adapted for adolescents including those who identify as LGBTQ.
Do character strengths apply to those who have a different background and/or culture from the heteronormative White male? How do character strengths and virtues apply to those who identify as LGBTQ? Do the same signature strengths and virtues apply?
Evaluate the potential value of your program to address bullying issues.
Include specific examples of how strength knowledge might have a positive impact on specific aspects of students’ lives during adolescence.
Support your work with at least five scholarly resources. In addition to these specified resources, other appropriate scholarly resources may be included.
About Strengths and Virtues in Positive Psychology
Millions of people worldwide have taken the VIA (Values in Action) Survey in 196 countries, which has been validated across diverse cultures. This survey helps to identify positive character strengths, talents and skills. This classification of character traits was originally developed by Seligman and Peterson (2004). As you will learn through your readings, it contains 24 strengths and six virtues. These six virtues include: 1) wisdom and knowledge, 2) courage, 3) humanity, 4) justice, 5) temperance, and 6) transcendence.
Individuals flourish when they apply their character strengths because they improve their engagement across domains like school, home, and social relationships. Using your character strengths facilitates resilience and flourishing, the qualities of PERMA and subjective well-being. There is an emphasis on inclusiveness and diversity; cultural differences are embraced and respected in the application of these virtues. They are strengths of character and have been shown to be related to health and well-being. Those who use their character strengths are able to overcome any challenges and ask for help. Instead of giving up, those that use their character strengths see the hard times as challenges to overcome. These individuals are excited by challenges instead of shutting down. They use their creativity to solve problems. Those that are curious ask many questions to discover new knowledge in order to overcome problems, being open-minded to change.
Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Strengths of character and well-being. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23(5), 603-619.
Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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