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Character, Responsibility, and Well-Being: Influences on Mental Health and Constructive Behavior Patterns

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198221 Year: Pages: 138 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-822-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46

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Character can be defined as self-aware knowledge that helps the individual to set goals, values and ethical principles (Cloninger, 2004). This meta-cognitive dimension of human personality involves ‘Theory of Mind’, and is positively related to measures of well-being, mental health, and constructive behavior patterns. Research from at least three different fields, cultural (Shweder, Much, Mahapatra & Park, 1997), personality (Cloninger, 2004), and social psychology (Abele & Wojcizke, 2007) suggest that character can be organized along three broad principles: agency, which is related to the autonomy and the fulfillment and enhancement of the self; communion, which is related to engagement in the protection and relations to others such as families, companies or nations; and spirituality, which is related to the human ability to transcend the self and find and interconnection with all life and appreciation of the whole world around us (Haidt, 2006; Cloninger, 2013). Using the Temperament and Character Inventory (Cloninger, Svrakic & Przybeck, 1993) researchers have found that agentic (i.e., Self-directedness) and communal (i.e., Cooperativeness) values are associated to high levels of happiness, psychological well-being, and less violent behavior. Moreover, low Self-directedness and Cooperativeness is recurrent among individuals with all types of mental health problems, such as, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and et cetera. Spirituality, in coherence with agency and communion, guides the individual to seek self-realization in harmony with others and nature in the changing world (Cloninger, 2013). Seeing character as self-awareness of the self in three dimensions has also been associated to human responsibility and empowerment. This Research Topic will focus on all article types that put forward findings regarding:•Character as a protective factor against mental illness•Character’s association to conduct disorders and violent behavior•Character as a promoter of happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being•The etiology of character•Longitudinal studies on character•Agency, communion, and spirituality as broad dimensions for the conceptualization of positive measures of mental health•Innovative methods to measure or conceptualize character•Non-linear effects of character on mental health•Character as a measure/conceptualization of responsibility•Character in school and work place settings•Character in relation to empowerment.

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