Positive Psychology in Sports: Relationships between Character Strengths and Athletic Performance Levels of Team Athletes

Publikation: Beitrag in Buch/Bericht/KonferenzbandKonferenzbeitrag - Abstract in KonferenzbandForschungBegutachtung


One major area of positive psychology is concerned with how individual strengths and talents can be fostered and applied to attain various positive out-comes (Seligman, 2011). In this regard, Peterson and Seligman (2004) created a classification of positive personality traits, which are referred to as the 24 Character Strengths (CS). The relevance of these CS is corroborated by the re-sults of numerous studies relating CS to well-being (e.g., Martínez-Martí & Ruch, 2014; Wagner et al., 2020) as well as various performance-related out-comes. These include satisfaction, self-efficacy, commitment, and direct per-formance measures in the work and the academic context (e.g., Littman-Ovadia et al., 2017; Weber & Ruch, 2012). While the CS seem to be highly relevant in different areas of life, they have not yet been examined in the context of sports. Thus, the aim of this study is to explore the relationships between the 24 CS and the athletic performance levels of team athletes. To this end, an online sur-vey was conducted collecting information on participants’ demographic and sport-specific background. Additionally, the 24 CS were assessed using the Ger-man version of the 120-item VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS; VIA Survey; Pe-terson & Park, 2009; Peterson & Seligman, 2004). All VIA scales show at least acceptable internal consistencies (Cronbach’s α = .60 - .84), apart from the lead-ership scale (α = .52). The data of 369 participants (131 female; meanage = 25.07 years, SDage = 5.9 years) is analyzed. All participants are active team athletes, competing on different performance levels, ranging from international compe-titions and the highest German leagues to the lowest leagues respective to their sport. Different main sports were indicated by the participants, including soccer (67%), handball (12%), volleyball (10%), basketball, beach volleyball, and field hockey. The relationships between team athletes’ CS and their athletic perfor-mance levels will be analyzed using multiple regression models, and the results of these analyses will be presented. Next to implications for future research, the discussion will focus on the practical relevance of the study’s findings. Pos-sible relationships between athletic performance levels and certain CS may point to interesting starting points for interventions. That is because the CS are understood to be changeable and trainable and, therefore, represent more val-uable target variables for interventions (Harzer, 2016), in contrast to traditional stable personality traits, whose practical relevance is oftentimes limited to the selection of athletes for certain teams or programs (Allen et al., 2013).
TitelHuman Performance – Assessment, Intervention & Analysen : Abstractband zur 55. Jahrestagung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Sportpsychologie (asp)
Herausgeber*innenNadja Schott, Heide Korbus, Thomas Klotzbier
Herausgeber (Verlag)Deutsche Vereinigung für Sportwissenschaft (dvs)
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2023
VeranstaltungJahrestagung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Sportpsychologie e.V. (asp): Human Performance, Assessment, Intervention und Analysen - Stuttgart
Dauer: 18.05.202320.05.2023