Research on character strengths in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) is lacking. Moreover, measures of character strengths have not been validated in this population, limiting the opportunities for further investigation.
To investigate the factor structure of the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA)-72 in a sample of individuals with MS.
This quantitative descriptive study included 624 individuals with MS. The factor structure of the VIA-72 was examined using principal component analysis. The internal consistency reliability and validity were assessed by computing Cronbach's alphas and correlations of the VIA-72 with other psychosocial constructs, respectively.
The principal component analysis revealed an interpretable four-factor structure of the VIA-72: intellectual and emotional strengths, temperance, transcendence, and interpersonal strengths. The factors significantly correlated with measures of quality of life, resilience, social support, depression, fatigue, and personality traits, indicating good concurrent validity. The four factors did not completely align with Peterson and Seligman's (2004) classification system.
The four-factor structure of the VIA-72 seems to be interpretable, valid, and reliable. Measures like VIA-72 may help rehabilitation professionals learn more about the nature and development of character strengths among persons with MS and suggest ways to cultivate it. Further studies are indicated to confirm the factor structures and psychometric properties of this scale in persons with MS.