Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology


Behavioral Science



First Advisor

Nansook Park


The purposes of this study were (a) to examine the relationship between character strengths and physical health and (b) to examine the moderating role of character strengths in the relationship between income and physical health. This study used nationally representative data from a sample of German adults (N > 1000) which included information about demographics, socioeconomic status, physical health, and character strengths. Physical health was assessed in two ways: doctor-diagnosed diseases and self-diagnosed chronic illnesses. Results showed that the character strengths of hope and zest were related to fewer doctor-diagnosed diseases and lower levels of self-diagnosed chronic illness. The character strengths of bravery, forgiveness, prudence, appreciation of beauty, gratitude, spirituality, social intelligence, fairness, and teamwork moderated the relation between income and physical health for different gender and age groups. In general, the moderation effects showed that individuals high on character strengths benefited more from higher income and suffered more from the adverse effect of lower income.



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