Character Strengths and Virtues: A New Approach to Strengths-Based Counseling and Values Education

Ömer Faruk Kabakçı Full Text: PDF (Türkçe)


Despite a growing interest into values education in Turkey there is no comprehensive approach to character that direct studies with a focus on a strength-based approach. The systematic classification of character strengths and virtues has been a very popular term in the researches of strengths-based positive psychology over the past 10 years and is seen as an important factor for positive youth development. Character strengths have important implications for promoting the positive experiences such as well-being and are also related to reduced negative experiences of youth. It also plays a central role in applying strengths-building practices at schools. The present literature review aims to explain the construct of character strengths and virtues, define related constructs and summarize the most current research findings. Firstly, the meaning of character strengths within the context of psychological counseling and guidance were examined. Then conceptual overlap between character strengths and character/values/virtues educations was discussed. Current research review included demographics effect, potential benefits of strengths, and research types. Measurement of character strengths was also presented. The present study suggests that cultivating students’ character strengths through character/values/virtues educations is required for positive youth development and school counseling services with a focus on a strength-based approach.

Keywords: Character strengths, virtues, values education, counseling, positive youth development