Character strengths and well-being in Japanese children and youth: Creating good habits

Tomoya Imura, Tazuko Aoki, Tomoko Takahashi, Yoichiro Nonaka, Tsuyoshi Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Character education in the US aims to establish good habits corresponding to good character. The purpose of this study was to determine the structure of character strengths and the relations among these strengths and wellbeing in Japanese children and youth. Peterson and Seligman (2004) developed a classification of character strengths called VIA-IS. We thought, however, that VIA-IS had too many items to use with school children. We selected 15 categories and developed a questionnaire for Japanese children and youth. Fourth to eighth grade students (N = 1,351) answered questionnaires in Study 1. We found four categories of character strengths, each of which consisted of 25 items: perseverance-honesty, courage-ideas, compassion-gratitude, and fairness-care. These categories were very similar to previous research findings which simplified the categories. In Study 2, we found a positive relationship among four categories of character strengths and well-being, which we called the hope scale, life satisfaction scale, subjective happiness scale, and social support scale. We discussed what additional research was needed for establishing good habits using our categories with children and youth in schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
JournalShinrigaku Kenkyu
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Character education
  • Character strengths
  • Good habits
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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