Nansook Park's research while affiliated with University of Johannesburg and other places

Publications (70)

Article
How do I do it?In this daily reflection, you list three things that went well for you, and why they went well. How does it work?This brief exercise helps you reflect on the many things that happen every day. Over time, you begin to look for things in your day to add to your list!
Article
Download Now Gratitude Letter 10 minutes | Gratitude How do I do it? Write a letter to a person who has influenced you life in a positive way. This could be a teacher, relative, mentor, or coach. If you can, read your letter aloud to the person you chose. How does it work? Gratitude letters help you focus on the positive influence of another person...
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The prediction of election outcomes is of widespread interest. Election outcomes are influenced by a variety of factors, but largely unexamined in past research is how psychological characteristics of the electorate influence the results of actual elections. The present study investigated whether the optimism of an electorate predicted the outcomes...
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This chapter covers positive youth development, positive psychology, and positive education, which suggest that mental health is more than the absence of mental illness and involves proactively supporting the mental well-being of young people. The assets of youth that protect against problems and allow young people to do well include both individua...
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Positive psychology is the scientific study of a healthy and flourishing life. The goal of positive psychology is to complement and extend the traditional problem-focused psychology that has proliferated in recent decades. Positive psychology is concerned with positive psychological states (eg, happiness), positive psychological traits (eg, talents...
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Background: Accidents are one of the leading causes of death among U.S. active-duty Army soldiers. Evidence-based approaches to injury prevention could be strengthened by adding person level characteristics (e.g., demographics) to risk models tested on diverse soldier samples studied over time. Purpose: To identify person-level risk indicators of a...
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Background: A recent study reported that the highest suicide rates in the US occurred in the happiest states. This is a counter-intuitive finding. The present research investigated whether the same result occurred when the unit of analysis was city. The association between happiness (of most) and suicide (by some) might differ in cities versus sta...
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The Values in Action Inventory of Strengths for Youth (VIA-Youth) is a self-report inventory assessing 24 character strengths among people 10–17 years of age. This paper describes the adaptation and initial validation of a German version of this measure utilizing several samples (in total N = 2,110 self-reports of participants aged 10–17 years, 56....
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Objective Identifying positive psychological factors that reduce health care use may lead to innovative efforts that help build a more sustainable and high-quality health care system. Prospective studies indicate that life satisfaction is associated with good health behaviors, enhanced health, and longer life, but little information about the assoc...
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Presents an obituary for Christopher M. Peterson. "Other people matter. Period," said Christopher M. Peterson when asked for a concise definition of "positive psychology," the field he helped to found and then helped to guide through the first decade of the 21st century. He researched, taught, and lived positive psychology. When Chris died prematur...
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Objective: To determine whether purpose in life is associated with reduced stroke incidence among older adults after adjusting for relevant sociodemographic, behavioral, biological, and psychosocial factors. Methods: We used prospective data from the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative panel study of American adults over the...
Article
Building and sustaining a good life are goals shared by all individuals and societies. The good life is happy, healthy, productive and meaningful, and it entails more than the mere absence of disease, disorder, and problems. Traditional approaches in psychology largely focus on identifying problems and reducing them. What is needed is a new kind of...
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Building and sustaining a good life are goals shared by all individuals and societies. The good life is happy, healthy, productive and meaningful, and it entails more than the mere absence of disease, disorder, and problems. Traditional approaches in psychology largely focus on identifying problems and reducing them. What is needed is a new kind of...
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The Values in Action Inventory of Strengths for Youth (VIA-Youth) is a self-report inventory assessing 24 character strengths among people 10-17 years of age. This paper describes the adaptation and initial validation of a German version of this measure utilizing several samples (in total N = 2,110 self-reports of participants aged 10-17 years, 56....
Article
"Most approaches to health over the centuries have focused on the absence of illness. In contrast, we are investigating Positive Health —well-being beyond the mere absence of disease. In this article, we describe our theoretical framework and empirical work to date on Positive Health. Positive Health empirically identifies health assets by determin...
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The Values in Action Classification of StrengthsAssessment of the Via StrengthsThe Via Inventory of StrengthsImplications for PracticeConclusion
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This study examined whether purpose in life was associated with myocardial infarction among a sample of older adults with coronary heart disease after adjusting for relevant sociodemographic, behavioral, biological, and psychological factors. Prospective data from the Health and Retirement Study-a nationally representative panel study of American a...
Article
Studies have documented effects of positive and negative emotion on the risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD), leading investigators to speculate about the importance of effective self-regulation for good health. Little work has directly assessed the role of self-regulation in risk of incident CHD. To examine whether self-regulation is as...
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Daniel B. Cnossen was born and raised in Topeka, growing up on a small farm. He spent his childhood reading, running, playing sports, and working on the farm. Cnossen enrolled in the United States Naval Academy in 1998. He had never before seen the ocean and did not know how to swim, but he asked his new friends at the academy to teach him; he woul...
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Throughout history, military children and families have shown great capacity for adaptation and resilience. However, in recent years, unprecedented lengthy and multiple combat deployments of service members have posed multiple challenges for U.S. military children and families. Despite needs to better understand the impact of deployment on military...
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Psychology and the U.S. military have a long history of collaboration. The U.S. Army Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) program aims to measure the psychosocial strengths and assets of soldiers as well as their problems, to identify those in need of basic training in a given domain as well as those who would benefit from advanced training, and the...
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Previous research indicates that several character strengths (e.g., gratitude, optimism, persistence, and self-regulation) correlate positively with measures of subjective well-being in adolescents. We examined whether character strengths predict future well-being. Adolescent high school students (N = 149) completed the Values in Action Inventory o...
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Psychology has neglected the study of variation across cities. An urban psychology is needed that takes seriously such variation and focuses on strengths and assets contributing to the good life as much as on problems of urbanization. To illustrate the value of an urban psychology, we describe studies of character strengths among residents in the 5...
Article
Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs is one of psychology's genuinely good ideas and has had a sustained impact in and out of psychology. The revision of the hierarchy by Kenrick, Griskevicius, Neuberg, and Schaller (2010, this issue) is overdue and makes an important contribution by grounding the hierarchy in modern evolutionary thought. However, w...
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Many languages and cultures have labels for individuals who have achieved a superior state of functioning, sometimes referred to as enlightenment or wisdom. This conceptualization of optimal functioning as a distinct state is implicit to several well-known psychological models, as well. This study evaluated whether self-reported strengths of charac...
Article
Life meaning is important for psychological and physical health and well-being. Researchers have only recently looked at the presence of life meaning and the search for life meaning as separate constructs. In the current study, 731 adult respondents from the United States completed the Meaning in Life Questionnaire, which separately assesses the pr...
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Peterson, Park, and Seligman (2005) developed the Orientations to Happiness (OTH) questionnaire to measure three routes to happiness: life of pleasure (hedonism), life of engagement (flow) and life of meaning (eudemonia). The questionnaire was translated into German in several steps (independent translations by five experts, creation of the initial...
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The Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS; Peterson, Park, & Seligman, 2005a) is an English-language self-report questionnaire that measures 24 widely-valued character strengths. The present paper describes the creation and adaptation of the German version of the VIA-IS and its peer-rating form using a sample of 1,674 adults. The 24 subsc...
Chapter
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This chapter describes a preliminary study of the Values in Action (VIA) strengths of character and their relationship to work satisfaction across a variety of occupations. Relying on a large Internet sample (N = 7348) of adults from the United States, we found that across occupations, character strengths of curiosity, zest, hope, gratitude, and sp...
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ParagonsPeacePenn Resiliency ProgramPerseverancePersonal Growth InitiativePersonal ResponsibilityPersonalityPerson-Environment FitPeterson, ChristopherPhysical HealthPlayPleasurePositive AffectivityPositive EmotionsPositive EthicsPositive ExperiencesPositive IllusionsPositive Law and PolicyPositive Organizational BehaviorPositive Organizational Sch...
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Zest is a positive trait reflecting a person's approach to life with anticipation, energy, and excitement. In the present study, 9803 currently employed adult respondents to an Internet site completed measures of dispositional zest, orientation to work as a calling, and satisfaction with work and life in general. Across all occupations, zest predic...
Article
An important aspect of general health is subjective well-being (SWB), which is defined as happiness and overall satisfaction with life. Herein we examined the reliability and validity of observation-based ratings of SWB in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Ten RA patients experiencing a disease flare (period of increased symptoms) completed...
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This study examined the contributions of orientations to happiness (pleasure, engagement and meaning) to subjective well-being. A sample of 12,622 adults from the United States completed on-line surveys measuring orientations to happiness, positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction. A sample of 332 adults from Australia also completed...
Chapter
Wisdom has long occupied the attention of psychologists, philosophers, educators, and theologians concerned with the good life and how to lead it.Wisdom is variously defined as erudition, especially in regard to philosophy or science; as the ability to judge correctly in matters relating to life and conduct; and/or as the understanding of what is t...
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The basic premise of positive psychology is that the happiness and fulfillment of children and youth entail more than the identification and treatment of their problems. This article provides an overview of positive psychology and the Values in Action (VIA) project that classifies and measures 24 widely recognized character strengths. Good characte...
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What makes life most worth living? The simplest summary of findings from the new field of positive psychology is that other people matter. It is within groups that we live, work, love, and play, and groups should therefore be a primary focus of researchers interested in health and well-being. In the present article, we propose morale as an importan...
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How are strengths of character related to growth following trauma? A retrospective Web-based study of 1,739 adults found small, but positive associations among the number of potentially traumatic events experienced and a number of cognitive and interpersonal character strengths. It was concluded that growth following trauma may entail the strengthe...
Article
This study investigated the reliability and validity of the Values in Action Inventory for Youth (VIA-Youth) of Park and Peterson (2006) in a total multi-cultural group of South African learners aged 13 to 17 years (N=1691: male = 703, female = 988). Descriptive statistics, reliability coefficients and correlations were calculated, and confirmatory...
Article
The development of a classification of strengths, the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths, has done much to advance research into strengths of character. Using an Internet sample of 17,056 UK respondents, we present data on the character strengths of a large UK sample. Women typically scored higher on strengths than did men. However, four of th...
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Why are certain character strengths more associated with life satisfaction than others? A sample of U.S. adults (N = 12,439) completed on-line surveys in English measuring character strengths, orientations to happiness (engagement, pleasure, and meaning), and life satisfaction, and a sample of Swiss adults (N = 445) completed paper-and-pencil versi...
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Although numerous cross-national studies have assessed life satisfaction among adults, similar studies using adolescent samples have been rare. To address this shortage of research, a total of 1338 youth adolescents from two individualistic nations (Ireland, USA) and two collectivistic nations (China, South Korea) were administered the Multidimensi...
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Moral competence among adolescents can be approached in terms of good character. Character is a multidimensional construct comprised of a family of positive traits manifest in an individual's thoughts, emotions and behaviours. The Values in Action Inventory for Youth (VIA-Youth) is a self-report questionnaire suitable for adolescents that measures...
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Character refers to qualities within individuals that lead them to desire and to pursue the good. We propose that strengths of character are a neglected but critically important resource for organizations. Character matters because it leads people to do the right thing, and the right thing can be productive and profitable. Copyright © 2006 John Wil...
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Positive psychology is a newly-christened field concerned with what makes life most worth living. At first glance, it would seem to have little to say about the post-9/11 world, but its central concerns�positive emotions, good character, and enabling institutions�are all pertinent to how people rise to the occasion of challenge and threat. What is...
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We investigated cultural influences on the distribution of character strengths, gender differences in character strengths, and the relationship of happiness to character strengths. Young adults from the United States (n=1099) and Japan (n=308) completed the English or Japanese versions of the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths. American and Ja...
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Parents’ written descriptions (average length = 211 words) of children between the ages of 3 and 9 years were collected on a password-protected website (n = 680). The presence of the 24 character strengths in the VIA Classification and the level of child’s happiness were coded with content analysis. Descriptions were rich in character language (ave...
Chapter
Like many of the social sciences, the field of organizational studies has long had a negative tilt (Cameron/Caza 2004). Topics like absenteeism, alienation, attrition, employee theft, workplace violence and discrimination are investigated frequently by organizational researchers. Indeed, people in general have little trust in big business (Harris P...
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We comment on the article by C.R. Snyder and T.R. Elliott, "Twenty-First Century Graduate Education in Clinical Psychology: A Four Level Matrix Model" (this issue, pp. 1033-1054). We agree with many of the specific sentiments expressed by these authors but not with their dismissal of the Boulder model. We conclude that the Boulder model is as valua...
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Positive psychology has flourished in the last 5 years. The authors review recent developments in the field, including books, meetings, courses, and conferences. They also discuss the newly created classification of character strengths and virtues, a positive complement to the various editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Diso...
Article
A cross-sectional study of developmental differences and similarities in the levels and correlates of life satisfaction was conducted with 716 South Korean students in elementary, middle and high school. With age, global and domain-specific life satisfaction (with family, school, living environment and self) decreased; satisfaction with friends did...
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Different orientations to happiness and their association with life satisfaction were investigated with 845 adults responding to Internet surveys. We measured life satisfaction and the endorsement of three different ways to be happy through pleasure, through engagement, and through meaning. Each of these three orientations individually predicted li...
Article
Full-text available
Positive psychology has flourished in the last 5 years. The authors review recent developments in the field, including books, meetings, courses, and conferences. They also discuss the newly created classification of character strengths and virtues, a positive complement to the various editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Diso...
Article
Full-text available
Positive psychology has flourished in the last 5 years. The authors review recent developments in the field, including books, meetings, courses, and conferences. They also discuss the newly created classification of character strengths and virtues, a positive complement to the various editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Diso...
Article
The factorial invariance of theMultidimensional Students' Life SatisfactionScale (MSLSS: Huebner, 1994) across twodivergent cultures (collectivistic vs.individualistic) was investigated with 835Korean and 822 US students in elementary,middle, and high schools. Psychometricproperties of the Korean version of the MSLSSwere acceptable. A series ofmult...
Article
Nelson, Westhues, and MacLeod's (2003) meta-analysis of early interventions for children is an important addition to the prevention literature. We comment on this article from the perspective of positive psychology and compare and contrast its conclusions with those from positive youth development. We conclude that social-emotional interventions ar...

Citations

... States in whole or in part stemming from these 11 "nations" may be quite different because of the differences in early settler worldviews. As Park and Peterson (2014) have stated, perhaps the states of the United States even may be considered especially fertile for cross-cultural psychology. They argue that intranational cross-cultural studies can provide better grounds for testing hypotheses because they "do a better job of minimizing potential confounds such as language, mode of government, affluence, and educational opportunities than comparative studies across nations" (p. ...
... Kern et al. 2015;Seligman et al. Linkins 2009;White and Waters 2015), and a growing number of interventions and curricula are being developed that potentially support and build these characteristics (Kern et al. 2016). However, it is unknown the extent to which developing positive personal characteristics will have the same benefit as those seen in correlational research. ...
... There has been an increasing interest in character strengths that grooves a variety of positive psychology applications since the first inception of the conceptualization in applied psychology (Niemiec, 2013). To date, traditional models have heavily relied on disease models in promoting mental health and human potential that raising healthy, happy, and morally competent youths appear to be highly associated with promoting the strengths of character (Park & Peterson, 2008). The current study revealed that character strengths were negatively correlated with each behavior problem in early adolescence, which was consistent with previous findings in adolescents (Demirci et al., 2019;Shoshani & Shwartz, 2018) and adults (Casali et al., 2021;Cheng et al., 2020;Duan & Bu, 2019;Sueki, 2021). ...
... The findings provide yet another example of how positive parenting intervention practices focusing on child behavioral assets can have advantageous effects on parent psychological well-being (Dubroja et al. 2016). Asset-based intervention practices (Eloff and Ebersöhn 2001) that focus on behavioral strengths are part of the field of positive psychology that includes the study of which kinds of experiences under which conditions promote and enhance both child and adult well-being (Bryant et al. 2011;Dubroja et al. 2016;Park and Peterson 2003;Seligman et al. 2005). Simple learning games that used existing child behavior as the building blocks for child learning proved effective not only in terms of child benefits but parent benefits as well. ...
... Para além dos ativos de saúde subjetivos já referidos (e.g., satisfação com a vida, esperança, otimismo), são também tidos em conta os ativos biológicos (e.g., alta variabilidade da frequência cardíaca, altos níveis de HDL 2 , aptidão cardiorrespiratória), e os ativos funcionais (e.g., relações sociais estáveis, trabalho significativo, participação ativa na comunidade) (Seligman et al., 2012). Os estudos são muitos e não cabe neste capítulo o seu detalhe 3 , pelo que deixamos apenas o exemplo da importância das relações sociais. ...
... PTG refers to the positive changes that trauma survivors experience in the posttrauma adaptation period (Peterson et al., 2011;Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004). These changes are more than a return to prior functioning after a period of loss; they are viewed as actual gains beyond the level of functioning, pre-trauma (Zalta et al., 2017). ...
... Drawing on the widely commented concept of Positive Organizational Behavior (POB) -an approach which reifies the 'positive' within understandings of resilience - Youssef and Luthans (2007) suggest that: 'what is good about life is as genuine as what is bad and therefore deserves equal attention' . Equally, Peterson and Park (2006) underline the importance of adopting a positive approach in all circumstances embracing positive elements, such as for example, 'hope, optimism and resilience' (Youssef & Luthans, 2007: 775). Thus, within modernistic accounts, skepticism and pessimism tends to be problematized and seen as eroding the capacity for resilience (Avey et al., 2012). ...
... While encouragement was not reflected in Peterson and Seligman (2004) seminal classification of character strengths, it does satisfy seven criteria in categorizing character strengths based on the original Values-in-Action Framework (Peterson & Park, 2004). If encouragement can be conceptualized as a trait-like characteristic, people are likely to exhibit a degree of stability across situations and time when demonstrating this strength (Criterion 1; Wong, Shea, et al., 2019). ...
... subjective and psychological perspectives (Ruini, 2017). Subjective well-being is concerned about pleasure in life, possessing positive emotions, and avoiding negative affect while, psychological well-being involves attaining fulfillment and meaning in life (Joseph, 2015). ...
... Subjective well-being is the other word for happiness as maintained by Martin E.P Seligman, who asserts that well-being need not be measured in terms of eradication of diseases in mind and health (Machado et al., 2019); instead, he is the proponent of Positive Psychology which tries to navigate happiness and understands how that be achieved (Fredrickson, 2001). Happiness is subjective and hence well-being too; he thus discusses certain concepts which help us gaze at psychology as a positive study of well-being enhancement (Trudel-Fitzgerald et al., 2019) not illness eradication (Park et al., 2014). The theory put forward three essential elements which help determine happiness-positive emotion: engagement, and meaning (Duckworth et al., 2005). ...