Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 1247–1260 | Cite as

Life Satisfaction and Character Strengths in Spanish Early Adolescents

  • María J. BlancaEmail author
  • Marta Ferragut
  • Margarita Ortiz-Tallo
  • Rebecca Bendayan
Research Paper


This study of Spanish early adolescents aimed to extend knowledge about the relationship between character strengths and life satisfaction (LS) and to explore gender differences in the prediction of LS. A sample of 457 adolescents aged 11–14 years completed questionnaires to assess LS and 24 character strengths. Results from simple correlation analysis showed that 18 strengths were positively and significantly correlated with LS, the highest coefficients being those for love, hope, authenticity and persistence. However, since strengths are inter-correlated, regression modelling was performed in order to determine which of these strengths are the best predictors of LS, and to identify any gender differences in this association. The results showed that love and hope were the most relevant strengths for predicting LS, with a positive relationship being observed for both girls and boys. This finding highlights the importance of positive thinking and of maintaining positive relationships during early adolescence. Gender differences were observed, however, for authenticity as a predictor of LS. Specifically, this variable made a significant contribution to the model in girls, for whom higher scores on authenticity were associated with greater LS. This result is interpreted in terms of gender differences in the timing of maturation. The findings help to further our understanding of the association between subjective well-being and character strengths in early adolescence, a critical stage of human development. In addition, the results suggest that intervention programmes based on character strengths in this developmental stage should mainly target the so-called ‘strengths of the heart’.


Life satisfaction Character strengths VIA-Y Hope Love Authenticity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychobiology and Behavioral Sciences Methodology, Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of MalagaMálagaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Personality, Assessment, and Psychological Treatment, Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of MalagaMálagaSpain
  3. 3.Facultad de PsicologíaUniversidad de MálagaMálagaSpain

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