Strengths Discovery in Children: How the Process of Identifying One’s Strengths Can Become a Positive Intervention

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Thesis or dissertation

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Identifying and using one’s strengths has been shown to increase well-being, but not all strengths interventions succeed in motivating participants to use their strengths more often or in new ways. We cannot assume that children who receive strengths programs they haven’t chosen to attend will be motivated to use their strengths. Strengths inventories and standard testing may produce insights for adults, however children may benefit from a more practical approach that begins with their own experiences of strengths. The strengths discovery workshop described in this Capstone allows children to describe, discover and label their own strengths. The workshop process is analogous to an appreciative inquiry of the person and may enable transformative change or peak learning experiences. The workshop enhances the participant experience of strengths discovery using active constructive responding, savouring and process praise. This workshop may foster conscious ownership of strengths identified during the process, and as a result, may increase motivation to use and develop those strengths. The process may also enhance a sense of belonging with peers and improve teacher-student relationships, which predict student achievement.


strengths, appreciative inquiry, active constructive responding, connectedness, student-teacher relationship


Character Strengths and Virtues, Education



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Date Posted: 19 December 2014