Article

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 325-337

First online:

Adolescents' self-perceptions of their strengths

  • Sheila WilliamsAffiliated withDepartment of Preventive and Social Medicine, Otago Medical School
  • , Rob McGeeAffiliated withDunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Unit, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Otago Medical School

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Abstract

A sample of 960 adolescents drawn from the general population was asked to complete a 22-item scale relating to their self-perceived strengths. The mean score for the 492 boys was 14.9 and that for the 486 girls was 14.4; the difference was not statistically significant. There were, nevertheless, differences for some of the items. In particular, more boys saw themselves as good at sport, confident, popular, having lots of hobbies, and attractive, while more girls saw themselves as reliable, kind, independent, and affectionate. Regression analysis suggested that boys' strengths depended upon parent, peer and school attachment, part-time work, and the number of physical activities with which they were involved. Girls' strengths were best predicted by parent attachment and the number of physical activities with which they were involved.