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Examining the Relations Between Character Strengths, Adaptive Coping, and Well-Being in Students with a Mental Illness

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Title: Examining the Relations Between Character Strengths, Adaptive Coping, and Well-Being in Students with a Mental Illness
Author: Boyle, Sarah L
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Lumley, Margaret
Abstract: Although extant research focuses primarily on the challenges associated with being a student with a mental illness, this study examined factors that have a positive influence on mental health. Specifically, this study examined the relations between character strengths of the heart, adaptive coping, and well-being within students with a mental illness. Participants consisted of 121 undergraduate students, who were primarily female (n=105) and aged 17-26 (Mage=19.88, SD=2.12). Participants completed measures of character strengths, coping, life satisfaction, and depressive symptomology. Character strengths of the heart were positively associated with ‘adaptive’ coping strategies. Further, character strengths of the heart and adaptive coping were positively associated with life satisfaction and negatively associated with depressive symptomology. These findings may provide a potentially empowering view of students who struggle with mental illness as possessing capacities and competencies for development to promote their well-being, which will be discussed further in this paper along with potential implications.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/16936
Date: 2019-07
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