The Eudaimonics of Human Strengths: The Relations Between Character Strengths and Well-Being

  • Claudia HarzerEmail author
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


The present chapter was aimed at presenting an overview of the findings on the relations between character strengths and well-being. In order to get a broader picture about these relations, not just eudaimonic well-being but also hedonic well-being was considered. Within the scope of the chapter at hand, focus was on subjective well-being as indicator of hedonic well-being as well as on psychological well-being as indicator of eudaimonic well-being. Following the definitions of these constructs, research findings on the correlations between character strengths and well-being (i.e., subjective well-being: positive affect, negative affect, and global life satisfaction; psychological well-being: environmental mastery, personal growth, purpose in life, autonomy, self-acceptance, and positive relationships) are presented. None of the character strengths systematically showed a correlation coefficient that indicated a detrimental relation between a strength and (indicators of) subjective and psychological well-being. On the contrary and as expected, character strengths seem to be important individual factors facilitating well-being. Across all indicators of well-being (i.e., subjective well-being and psychological well-being) zest, hope, and curiosity were the most substantial correlates among the character strengths. Moreover, in addition to zest, hope, and curiosity, further character strengths were relevant for specific indicators of subjective well-being and psychological well-being as well. In-depth interpretations of the most important relations are presented and discussed. Finally, concluding remarks and open questions are presented, and future directions for research are discussed.


Character strengths Subjective well-being Psychological well-being Hedonism Eudaimonia Hedonic well-being Eudaimonic well-being Happiness 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section on Psychological Assessment, Department of PsychologyUniversity of KasselKasselGermany

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