A Multi-Informant Study of Strengths, Positive Self-Schemas and Subjective Well-Being from Childhood to Adolescence

  • Kathlyn M. CherryEmail author
  • Brae Anne McArthur
  • Margaret N. Lumley
Research Paper


The parent–child relationship is important for promoting strengths and well-being for youth. Despite this, empirical research examining how parents influence youths’ strengths and well-being has lagged. The current study extends this limited research by examining whether parental perceptions of youths’ strengths as rated by the parent are indirectly related to youths’ well-being by way of youths’ self-reported strengths. Additionally, the study explored associations of youths’ positive self-schemas (reflecting a different positive construct of youths’ self) with these constructs. To date, research on youths’ strengths, self-schemas, and well-being has operated within disparate fields of inquiry, and there has yet to be an empirical investigation examining if specific strengths and self-schemas are related, and their unique associations with youths’ well-being. Participants were 281 youth (57% female; M = 13.36 years, SD = 2.18; 68.6% Caucasian) and their parent. Findings support that parental views of youths’ strengths are indirectly related to youths’ happiness and life satisfaction via youths’ own self-perceived strengths. Relations also emerged between parental perceptions of strengths, youths’ self-reported strengths and self-schemas, and youths’ well-being. Further, specific strength and self-schema themes had unique relations with youths’ happiness and life satisfaction. This study provides empirical support for the relations between youths’ strengths, self-schemas, and well-being, which may advance theoretical models of positive youth development.


Youth strengths Positive self-schemas Happiness Life satisfaction Parenting 



Kathlyn M. Cherry was supported by a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Brae Anne McArthur was supported by a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. This research was also supported by the Ontario Mental Health Foundation New Investigator Fellowship (Grant Number 049438) to Margaret N. Lumley.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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