Article Title: Character Strengths and Wellbeing: A Discriminant Analysis between Young Adults from Counselling Centers and Community Samples
Author(s): Afifa Anjum & Naumana Amjad
Institute(s): Institute of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore
Journal: Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 2016, Vol. 14, No.1, 3-14
Correspondence Address: Afifa Anjum, Institute of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Character strengths have been associated with a number of self-report subjective wellbeing (SWB) indicators but there is no study so far investigating the role of character strengths in wellbeing through the use of contrasting groups. We explored which (if any) character strengths predict wellbeing by discriminating between young adults clinical sample with common psychological symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress recruited from campus counselling centers and general community sample over and above the demographic and traditional predictors of SWB. Participants were selected in cross sectional manner i.e. from campus counselling centers of three major universities of Lahore (Group 1: clinical/seeking counselling, n=111); general students sample from the same universities and further stratified into two groups on the basis of reported need of counselling (Group 2: need of counselling, n=97; Group 3: general sample, n=124). Assessment was done on character strengths, depression-anxiety-stress level, life stressors, perceived social support and demographic variables. Discriminant Function Analysis resulted in one significant discriminant function separating clinical group from other two groups. Hope, zest, gratitude, humour and social IQ discriminated between groups with clinical group scoring lower on all these strengths. Second DFA between both community samples revealed self-regulation as the only strength discriminating need of counselling group from general sample. Findings of the study have important implications regarding the role of character strengths as protective factors in the life of young adults as well as offer character strengths as having potential for inclusion in therapy/counselling plans.
Key Words: character strengths, counselling, psychological problems, young adults, university students