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New Frontiers in Rehabilitation Psychology: Scale Development for the Assessment of Positive Traits in Individuals with Physical Disabilities Phillip S.

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Presentation on theme: "New Frontiers in Rehabilitation Psychology: Scale Development for the Assessment of Positive Traits in Individuals with Physical Disabilities Phillip S."— Presentation transcript:

1 New Frontiers in Rehabilitation Psychology: Scale Development for the Assessment of Positive Traits in Individuals with Physical Disabilities Phillip S Keck, B.S., Hyoseok (Hugh) Kwon, M.A., Caleb Tipple, B.S., Deborah Miller, M.A., Gunnar Ingolfsson, M.A., Jeong Han Kim, PhD Ball State University Abstract The Character Research Team at Ball State University is currently working on development of a scale that measures positive characteristics in individuals with physical disabilities. Using positive and virtue psychology tenets, the team has created an inventory of items. This effort describes the theoretical and methodological frameworks and the implications for development. Introduction Positive psychologists and virtue psychologists are currently in disagreement regarding the interpretation of how character strengths are manifest in individuals. Positive psychology researchers explain character strengths as signature trait-like, both stable and independent. An individual’s signature positive traits elicit certain behaviors leading to a thriving life. Personality psychologists argue that positive traits must work in conjunction with each other to make decisions leading to a prosperous existence. It becomes a melding of the two positions asking which particular personality traits lead to subjectively positive outcomes for individuals. Furthermore, it is argued from a psychological standpoint that virtue is a complementary mix of social and emotional well-being. Virtue is manifested and judged by the social environment but experienced independently and subjectively. Therefore, positive psychology and virtue psychology assert that understanding virtuous behavior in humans is as important as understanding the maladaptive behavior (Fowers, 2005; Peterson & Seligman,2004). Measurement of Character Strengths Peterson and Seligman (2004) developed a classification of virtue and character strengths (CSV; Table 1) with empiricism in mind. The Values-in-Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS; Peterson and Seligman 2004) is the most widely studied measurement of character strengths. This measure was created in direct proportion with the constructs of virtue outlined by the CSV and it cannot go without mentioning that a large majority of the research findings surrounding the study of virtue and character were made possible by the development of this taxonomy and measure. The authors assert that the VIA-IS does not measure virtues as a summation of the corresponding character strengths, but rather which of those character strengths seem to be more stable and evident within the individual. VIA-IS 240-item, self-report questionnaire all subscales retain α >.70 test-retest reliability over a four-month period is α >.70 over 1.3 million individuals assessed ease of access and practical understanding of the VIA-IS are strengths of the measure. Rationale VIA a piecemeal approach Mixed statistical validation of the VIA-IS Rehabilitation counseling focus on strengths Minimal application of character strength assessment in rehabilitation context Practical obstacle of VIA-IS administration Purpose Is the AVIS a statistically valid and reliable instrument for measuring the virtues and character strengths of rehabilitation clients with physical disabilities? What relationship exists between AVIS and other measures of life satisfaction, well-being, and resilience? References Fowers, B.J. (2005). Virtue and psychology: Pursuing excellence in ordinary practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Peterson, C. (2006). A primer in positive psychology. New York: Oxford University Press. Peterson, C. & Seligman, M.E.P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A classification and handbook. New York: Oxford University Press. Ruch, W., Proyer, R. T., Harzer, C., Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. P. (2010). Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS): Adaptation and validation of the German version and the development of a peer-rating form. Journal of Individual Differences, 31(3), doi: / /a Seligman, M. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), doi: / X Scale Development March members 3-5 items per each strength by each person using the phrase "I practice or act" and the classification definition April 2010 Item review Clarity Item representation 8 th grade readability Use of vocabulary from classification May 2010 Reverse individual item review June 2010 Expert review September members Development of new items following expert review 3-5 items per member abandonment of "I practice or act...“ strong "I" statements qualifiers absent in an effort to make clear statements about behavior Systematic review of VIA-IS as a group October 2010 Continue item development under same criteria Individual item representation rating (0-5) Behavior-oriented Absence of qualifier Clarity November 2010 Average item ratings from group Items > 3.0 Keep at least 5 items of highest score for each character strength January 2011 Second expert review March 2011 Pilot study (Peterson & Seligman, 2004; Ruch et al., 2010; Peterson, 2006) Adapted Virtue Inventory of Strengths (AVIS) Sample Items I encourage my group to get things done. I notice and appreciate beauty and excellence. I cook meals creatively. I pray for others’ well-being. I am good at organizing group activities and seeing that they happen. I change my behavior when I see what is making other people tick. I do not pretend for my own interest. I take time to express my thanks. I provide wise counsel that others appreciate. I do not like to talk about my own accomplishments. References Fowers, B.J. (2005). Virtue and psychology: Pursuing excellence in ordinary practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Peterson, C. (2006). A primer in positive psychology. New York: Oxford University Press. Peterson, C. & Seligman, M.E.P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A classification and handbook. New York: Oxford University Press. Ruch, W., Proyer, R. T., Harzer, C., Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. P. (2010). Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS): Adaptation and validation of the German version and the development of a peer-rating form. Journal of Individual Differences, 31(3), doi: / /a Seligman, M. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), doi: / X


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