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The Strengths Self-Efficacy Scale: Assessing Strengths in Action

Strengths Self-Efficacy Scale

Use of our strengths invokes within us a sense of authenticity, vitality, invigoration, intrinsic motivation and yearning. However in order to have positive experiences and move closer towards self-actualisation we need to use them successfully. So how do we know when we are being effective?

The Strengths Self-Efficacy Scale (SSES), presented in the form of a questionnaire, was designed to assess someone’s perceived efficacy at building and applying strengths in daily life and accounts for different environments including work and educational contexts.


Created by Tsai et al. (2014) the SSES offers the opportunity to gain insight into individual self-efficacy with regards to strengths utilisation.

Research findings around the SESS show that its scores are positively correlated with life satisfaction and self-esteem, and high scores indicate high levels of strengths self-efficacy.

Want a complete template for this exercise?

In the case that you would like an easy to download template for this assessment with the complete description you can sign up for our 'Positive Psychology Practitioner's Toolkit'. This one-of-kind box of tricks contains over 99 positive psychology exercises and is already being used by 650+ practitioners and teachers worldwide.

Strengths Based Assessment and Intervention

The SSES can be used by practitioners, and clinicians in conjunction with strength based interventions to measure progress in perceived strengths use.

Strength based interventions such as Strength Based Therapy recognise the overarching importance of the subjective views of individual with regards to their well being and underlying pathology over expert diagnostics and opinions.  

The SSES’s self report structure supports this key aspect by providing an opportunity for the development of knowledge and use of strengths with self concordance which are factors highly correlated to vitality and well being (Govindji & Linley, 2007).

In order to accurately complete the assessment, it is necessary for the individual to be aware of their 5 signature strengths. Take the VIA character strengths survey to find out yours. 

The SSES thus the opportunity to not only solidify knowledge of strengths but it also clarify the level of each individual’s self-efficacy in strengths use and potential for moving closer towards self-actualisation.

Suggested Readings

Tsai, C. L., Chaichanasakul, A., Zhao, R., Flores, L. Y., & Lopez, S. (2014). Development and Validation of the Strengths Self-Efficacy Scale (SSES). Journal of Career Assessment, 22, 221-232.

Wong J. Strengths-centered therapy: a social constructionist, virtue-based psychotherapy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice and Training. 2006;43:133–146. 

Govindji, R., Linley, P. (2007). Strengths use, self-concordance and well-being: Implications for Strengths Coaching and Coaching Psychologists. International Coaching Psychology Review. 2(2); 143-144. 

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The Strengths Self-Efficacy Scale: Assessing Strengths in Action


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