Social Indicators Research

, Volume 77, Issue 1, pp 11–36 | Cite as

The Strengths Perspective: Fortigenesis in Adult Life

  • D. J. W. Strümpfer


“Fortigenesis” (L. fortis=strong) refers to a process of developing strengths at a variety of endpoints. Assumptions are: (i) there exist 2 continua, of mental illness and mental health, along which waxing and waning in the process of fortigenesis moves individuals in the directions of more or less strength; (ii) challenge, struggling and suffering, due to inordinate demands, are inherent to the human condition; (iii) there are strengths to negotiate and resile these demands, and even to harness them towards subsequent flourishing; and (iv) there are also purely positive experiences. The background to a “science of strength” is presented briefly. Subjective well-being, questing for meaning, thriving/flourishing, and interpersonal flourishing, are reviewed as illustrative themes. The review is limited to English language and Occidental literature, and to matters mainly apparent in individual adult lives.


American Psychologist Positive Psychology Social Indicator Research South African Journal Positive Illusion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of PsychologyUniversities of Johannesburg and PretoriaEmmarentiaSouth Africa

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