Assessment of Character Strengths in Children and Adolescents

  • Tayyab Rashid
  • Afroze Anjum
  • Carolyn Lennox
  • Denise Quinlan
  • Ryan M. Niemiec
  • Donna Mayerson
  • Fahim Kazemi


Positive psychology urges psychologists to ask a deeper and loftier question, what is right with children and adolescents, in addition to exploring their weaknesses. This chapter discusses a strength-based assessment approach in detail, arguing that that such an approach yields useful information above and beyond the information produced by traditional measures of psychopathology. Some salient measures of strengths are listed, and in particular the VIA Youth Survey, which is used to determine an individual’s signature strengths, is discussed in detail. Previous findings have suggested that the frequent use of signature strengths is associated with greater well-being. This assertion has not been tested widely with children and adolescents. The chapter presents results of three intervention studies including one that has demonstrated that a multi-informant approach (i.e., strengths identified by teacher, parent, and a peer) of assessing signature strengths that boosts well-being and social skills. The chapter concludes with practical strategies for professionals to incorporate various ways to assess and develop strengths of children and adolescents.


Life Satisfaction Social Skill Signature Strength Classroom Teacher Positive Psychology 
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.



We are deeply thankful to Carolyn Lennox, Ruth Baumal, Joy Reiter, James Bowen, Tamara Kornaki, Aarti Kumar, Nina Vitopolous, Peter Chang, and Neal Mayerson for their support in the running of the intervention studies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tayyab Rashid
    • 1
  • Afroze Anjum
    • 2
  • Carolyn Lennox
    • 2
  • Denise Quinlan
    • 3
  • Ryan M. Niemiec
    • 4
  • Donna Mayerson
    • 4
  • Fahim Kazemi
    • 1
  1. 1.Health and Wellness CentreUniversity of Toronto ScarboroughTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Psychological Services, South-West Education OfficeToronto District School BoardTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  4. 4.VIA Institute on CharacterCincinnatiUSA

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