Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services

First Advisor

Rachel L. Navarro


The purpose of this study, and its focus on Latinx adults is two-fold: to validate the VIA-IS-M in a US-Latinx sample, and to explore whether Latinx cultural values of personalismo, familismo, and religiosity converge conceptually with the virtues within the VIA-IS-M. The proposed survey uses positive psychology as the theoretical basis (Parks & Biswas-Diener, 2013). A pull within the positive psychological research is addressed, specifically the merits of cultural transcendence or cultural integration (Jeglic, Miranda, & Polanco-Roman, 2016). For many years now, a flagship survey tool by Peterson and Seligman (2004) called the Values-in-Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) has been used as a marker of character strengths. This survey was critiqued on theoretical and cultural grounds and was inconsistently replicated across samples. 481 individuals were asked to participate in an online, quantitative survey using Qualtrics survey creator. They were asked some demographic questions, including age, gender identity, country of origin, and race/ethnicity. Then took the full VIA-IS-M, as well as scales of Familismo, Personalismo, Acculturation, and Religiosity. This study assumes that the 5-factor VIA-IS-M will have acceptable fit in a US Latinx sample of adults. However, we expect that the 3-factor model replicated in non-US samples will be a better fit than the 5-factor model (Azañedo, Fernández-Abascal, & Barraca, 2014). Presumably, humanity and temperance should correlate with both measures of familismo and personalismo based on the character strengths that compose them (Peterson & Seligman, 2006). The reliability analysis of the VIA-IS-M 5-factor model showed questionable to good internal consistency across the constructs. Some observed indicators had poor factor loadings and inter-factor correlations were not consistent with theoretical expectations. Ultimately, the 5-factor model was not a good fit to our sample data. However, the 3-factor model demonstrated significantly better fit to the sample than the 5-factor model, despite overlapping concerns around construct validity and internal reliability. The expected convergent and divergent validity of the Familismo, Personalismo, Humanity, and Temperance constructs were not consistently supported. Further research in strengths-measurement is needed, and evidence supporting cultural-specific strengths were found.