What's in character strengths? Profiling strengths of the heart and mind in a community sample

Serena Haridas, Navjot Bhullar, Debra A. Dunstan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigated a profile-based perspective of six dimensions of character strengths (i.e., heart strengths, heart/self-focused strengths, heart/others-focused strengths, mind strengths, mind/self-focused strengths, and mind/others-focused strengths), with the aim of identifying an optimal combination of Peterson's (2006) character strengths. A second aim was to examine whether profile membership was associated with mental health markers. We predicted that at least two qualitatively distinct profiles would emerge: the “heart” strengths profile and the “mind” strengths profile. We also predicted that a “heart” strengths profile would be more strongly associated with markers of mental health than a “mind” strengths profile. Respondents (N = 595, Mage = 34.11 years, SD = 13.18) completed measures assessing endorsement of character strengths and a range of mental health markers. A latent profile analysis identified an optimal 4-profile solution based on these six dimensions of strengths. Emergent profiles were Profile 1 (Low Strengths), Profile 2 (Mind Strengths), Profile 3 (Heart Strengths), and Profile 4 (High Strengths). As expected, profile membership was significantly associated with mental health markers. Notably, strengths of the heart (e.g., zest, hope, kindness) contributed to more favorable presentations. Therefore, cultivating strengths associated with the heart dimension might enhance mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-37
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2017


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