Research Articles

Measuring PERMA+ in South Australia, the State of Wellbeing: A comparison with national and international norms

Matthew Iasiello, Jonathan Bartholomaeus, Aaron Jarden, Gabrielle Kelly

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 1 No. 2 (2017), 18 October 2017, Page | 53-72 |

In 2012 Martin Seligman recommended that South Australia take a whole-state approach to measuring and building the wellbeing of its citizens; to become the State of Wellbeing. This recommendation inspired many actions across South Australia, including the establishment of the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre, and substantial efforts in the education system, organizations, and government policy. This study compares the wellbeing of a large South Australian sample to samples from Australia and New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and a Global sample. Findings indicated that South Australian levels of wellbeing were higher than all other samples, with substantially higher scores for the components of Relationships, Positive Emotion, and Meaning. In addition, wellbeing was not associated with age or level of disadvantage. This study presenting South Australian norms suggests encouraging results from a systematic effort in South Australia to become the State of Wellbeing.

Reliability and construct validity of the Gratitude Questionnaire 6 Item Form (GQ 6) in a sample of Japanese college students

Katsunori Sumi

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 1 No. 2 (2017), 18 October 2017, Page | 73-84 |

This study examined the reliability and construct validity of the Japanese translation (GQ-6-J) of the Gratitude Questionnaire 6-item form (GQ-6) in a sample of 409 Japanese college students (166 women, 263 men; mean age = 20.6 years, SD = 1.36), who completed the questionnaire on two occasions separated by four weeks. Internal consistency reliability (?s = .92 and .92 for the two administrations, respectively) and test–retest reliability (r = .86) were good. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses on the GQ-6-J confirmed the same single factor structure as that of the original GQ-6. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the GQ-6-J is distinguishable from the measures of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. As expected, the GQ-6-J scores were moderately correlated with scores on the measures of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Because these results provided support for the reliability and construct validity of the GQ-6-J, the measure is expected to contribute to research in the Japanese population as a suitable instrument to assess dispositional gratitude.

The transtheoretical model promotes exercise and other health behaviors by matching specific processes of change (PoC) to an individual’s current stage of change. Similarly, positive psychology confirms that building signature character strengths is associated with greater happiness and less depression. However, past work has not examined how strengths use, PoC, and exercise stage of change are associated or the potential causal direction between constructs. Participants (N = 344) completed an online survey assessing character strengths, PoC, and exercise stage of change. Novel groupings of exercise-specific strengths were found. Use of all fortitude strengths (i.e., self-regulation, perseverance, zest, perspective, appreciation of beauty, hope, leadership, bravery, and gratitude), some of the cognitive strengths (i.e., love of learning, curiosity, creativity, and bravery) and interpersonal strengths (i.e., love and leadership), but none of the self-modulation strengths associated with later stage of change. Multiple structural equation models were compared, showing (a) character strengths and PoC use are linked and (b) strengths are better predictors of PoC than PoC are of strengths. Building fortitude strengths may increase behavioral PoC for physically active people and associate with more regular exercise, and building self-modulation strengths (e.g., prudence, modesty) may increase experiential PoC among non-active individuals.

Exploring the role of purpose in the lives of career changers: A qualitative inquiry

Jessie Jie Zhu, Tim Lomas, Jolanta Burke, Itai Ivtzan

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 1 No. 2 (2017), 18 October 2017, Page | 109-128 |

Although purpose in life is well-established as a key element of optimal human functioning, there is a lack of qualitative research exploring the role of purpose in individuals’ lives, particularly in the context of career change. The aim of the study is to gain a deep understanding of the role of purpose in the lives of career changers, including the process of developing purpose and its impact on individuals’ well-being.  A qualitative method was employed that involved semi-structured interviews with a sample of thirteen participants who went through a career change process. The qualitative grounded theory analysis reveals a purpose process model, which posits that individuals experience purpose as an ongoing and dynamic process consisting of questioning, exploring, unfolding, and evolving as critical developmental stages of individuals’ journeys to discover and develop purpose. The process of pursuing a purposeful way of living generally has a positive impact on individuals’ hedonic and eudaemonic well-being but can also have its “dark side” that may detract from life. Practical implications for career counseling, as well as future direction of research are discussed.

Review Articles

Benefits of well-being: Health, social relationships, work, and resilience

Jessica Kansky, Ed Diener

Journal of Positive School Psychology , Vol. 1 No. 2 (2017), 18 October 2017, Page | 129-169 |

Well-being has been strongly linked to many important life facets ranging from physical and mental health to social relationships to academic and work performance. Not only has it been associated with many beneficial outcomes across these realms, but it has also been demonstrated to predict positive changes in these key areas of functioning. In this article, we will review the benefits of high subjective well-being (high positive affect and life satisfaction and low negative affect) for health, resilience, work performance, and social relationships. Using multi-method assessments and approaches as well as cross-cultural findings, we review the evidence which vastly supports a strong link between well-being and crucial life domains. Gaps in our understanding of this connection and areas for future research to address the limits of our knowledge assessing the beneficial outcomes of well-being will be discussed. Implications of the link between well-being and important life outcomes for practical applications including interventions and preventative policy work are provided.