Positive psychology focuses on the benefits of both possessing and using personal strengths, however existing research has focused exclusively on having rather than using strengths. This study validates the Strengths Use Scale and presents the first test of whether strength use leads to improved well-being. A community sample (N=207) completed measures at baseline and three and six month follow-up. The scale had a clear one-factor structure, high internal consistency (α=.94-.97), and impressive three- and six-month stability (r=.84). Strengths use led to less stress, and greater self-esteem, vitality and positive affect over both longitudinal assessment periods. Strengths use is an important longitudinal predictor of well-being, and the new scale is a reliable and valid measurement tool.
- Positive psychology