Thriving on Strengths: Effects of a Strengths Intervention for Younger and Older Teachers

Valesca Y. Tobias, Marianne van Woerkom, Maria Christina Meyers, Piety Runhaar, Arnold B. Bakker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The teaching profession is characterized by high demands and teachers who thrive are better able to navigate their demanding context than teachers who survive. Based on theories on strengths use we propose that strengths interventions which help teachers to identify, use, and develop their strengths can enhance their thriving (vitality and learning) which enables them to perform better. In addition, based on the socioemotional selective theory we propose that strengths interventions are especially beneficial for older teachers because it fits their goals and skills. We conducted a quasi-experimental study, in which 152 teachers and their team leaders participated in a strengths intervention. Longitudinal survey data indicated that the strengths intervention contributed to older teachers’ (≥ 46 years old) vitality, which in turn, contributed to their performance. No significant effects were found for younger teachers. We discuss the implications of our study for older teachers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1121-1144
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Intervention
  • Performance
  • Strengths
  • Teachers
  • Thriving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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