Seligman (2002), meticulously described a model of parenting effectiveness, based on the principles of Positive Psychology. Despite that, to the best of our knowledge, this parenting model received less attention than the rest of the Authentic Happiness model components (2002). To hopefully promote research in this area, a first step would be developing a new measure of Positive Psychology parenting, operationalizing this Authentic Happiness parenting model (Seligman, 2002). Therefore, the purpose of this study is to describe the development and validation of a new measure of Positive Psychology Parenting (Nicomachus-Positive Parenting or NPP).
1.1. Definitions of Terms Used
A family is a group of interacting people with a similar intention (Conoley & Conoley, 2009; Conoley, Conoley, & Pontrelli, 2014) or an open system of people (von Bertalanffy, 1976). Family systems are grounded on the General Systems Theory (von Bertalanffy, 1976), suggesting that families are studied more effectively when taking into account member interactions and environmental effects (Whiteman et al., 2011).
Parenting is a bidirectional, biological and social process (Tobach & Schneirla, 1968) between members of at least two generations within a specific cultural context (Ford & Lerner, 1992; Lerner, Rothbaum, Boulos, & Castellino, 2002).
Positive Psychology. Martin Seligman, as APA president announced the Positive Psychology movement on August 21, 1999 (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000) for the empirical study of “what makes life worth living” (Peterson, 2013; Seligman, 2011). The purpose of Positive Psychology is to study all factors contributing to human flourishing on both a personal and a community level (Gable & Haidt, 2005; Linley & Joseph, 2015). Positive Psychology brought about a change in the outlook of “psychology as usual” (Seligman & Pawelski, 2003; Hefferon & Boniwell, 2011; Seligman, Railton, Baumeister, & Sripada, 2016) that can also affect parenting practices (Seligman, 2002).
Character strengths are a sub-category of personality attributes having moral value, e.g. politeness as opposed to introversion which has no moral dimension (Peterson & Park, 2009). Fredrickson defines character strengths as habits (Fredrickson, 2009). The most frequently used strengths are called signature strengths (measured with Values in Action Inventory of Strengths, Peterson & Seligman, 2004).
Positive emotions here are used within the Broaden and Built theoretical framework (Fredrickson, 1998, 2001). After two decades of extensive research there is a top-ten of positive emotions: joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, fun, inspiration, awe and love (Fredrickson, 2009; Hefferon & Boniwell, 2011).
Well-being is a positive evaluation of one’s own life (Seligman, 2002; Diener & Seligman, 2004), while Ryan & Deci (2001) and Seligman (2002; Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000) link well-being with optimum experience (Flow; Csikszentmihalyi, 1990) and psychological functioning (Mitchell, Vella-Brodrick, & Klein, 2010).
Flourishing is a state of positive mental health where the person is both feeling well and doing well in personal and social level, free from mental illness (Keyes, 2002; Fredrickson & Losada, 2005; Seligman, 2011).
1.2. The Positive Psychology Parenting and the Model behind NICOMACHUS
For Seligman (2002), parenting offers parents the chance to: 1) Apply the principles of Positive Psychology; 2) Increase the level of positive emotions to the child; 3) Discover strengths and signature strengths and then nurture these signatures strengths; 4) To increase the well-being of the child and the entire family 5) Forge a child’s life around his/her signature strengths as a means of balancing his/her weaknesses and flourishing. According to Seligman (2002), two core elements that enable children to flourish are: 1) positive emotions as described within the Broaden and Build Theory (Fredrickson, 1998, 2001), and 2) the character strengths (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000; Peterson & Seligman, 2004). These are the two pillars of positive psychology parenting (Seligman, 2002). Seligman (2002) implicitly adopts the systemic view on paref109" id="ref109"> Lovejoy, M. C., Weis, R., O’Hare, E., & Rubin, E. C. (1999). Development and Initial Validation of the Parent Behaviour Inventory. Psychological Assessment, 11, 534-545.
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