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20-04-2017 | Uitgave 9/2017

Quality of Life Research 9/2017

Development and initial validation of a short three-dimensional inventory of character strengths

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 9/2017
Wenjie Duan, He Bu



Character strength is described as a positive and organized pattern of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. It serves as a schema that organizes categories of information toward the self, others, and the world, and provides the self-aware knowledge that facilitates the pursuit of goals, values, and ethical principles. Recent research has suggested that three reliable factors emerge from the measures of character strengths: caring, inquisitiveness, and self-control. The goal of this paper is to develop a psychometrically sound short measure of character strength.


The questions were addressed in two studies using two independent samples: a cross-cultural (i.e., 518 Asians and 556 Westerners) sample, and a cross-population (i.e., 175 community participants and 171 inpatients) sample in China.


Findings from the exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis suggested a cross-cultural three-factor model of character strength that could be measured by the Three-dimensional Inventory of Character Strengths (TICS). A multigroup confirmatory factor analysis further indicated that the number of factors and factor loadings was invariant in the medical and community samples. This result indicated that the brief inventory could be applied to a medical context. Internal reliability, content validity, and predictive validity were good, although the predictive validity of the three character strengths for psychological symptoms in the medical sample was more modest than that in the community sample.


TICS is expected to be used for screening populations at risk, and a tool to aid mental health professionals in group-based treatment/intervention planning. It also should be noted that this short inventory should be used with caution for individual decision making.

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