Strength Based Parenting: A New Avenue of Practise and Research in Positive Psychology

  • Lea E. WatersEmail author


In his 1998 Presidential address to the American Psychological Association, launching the field of positive psychology, Professor Martin Seligman stated, “Ideally, psychology should be able to help document what kind of families’ result in the healthiest children” (Seligman M, Am Psychol 54:559–562, 1999, p. 560). The theme of positive families was again put forward in Seligman’s foundational paper on positive psychology co-authored with Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in 2000 where they called for a scientific understanding of what creates thriving families (Seligman M, Csikszentmihalyi M, Am Psychol 55:5–14, 2000). Yet two recent reviews of positive psychology by Donaldson et al. (J Posit Psychol 10:185–195, 2015) and by Rusk and Waters (J Posit Psychol 8(3):207–221, 2013) found an absence of research on parents and families in the field. This is an important gap which needs to be filled when discussing the future directions of positive psychology given the central importance of parenting on childhood development and well-being.


Parenting Positive psychology Strengths-based Authoritative parenting Children Family 


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© The Anglican Church of Australia Collegiate School of Saint Peter trading as St Peter's College 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Positive PsychologyMelbourne Graduate School of EducationCarltonAustralia
  2. 2.The University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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