A Multidimensional PERMA-H Positive Education Model, General Satisfaction of School Life, and Character Strengths Use in Hong Kong Senior Primary School Students : Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Path Analysis Using the APASO-II

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  • Man K. Lai
  • Cynthia Leung
  • Herman H. M. Lo
  • Janet T. Y. Leung


Original languageEnglish
Article number1090
Journal / PublicationFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2018



The multidimensional PERMA-H positive education model provided evaluation and education framework for the theoretical and practice development of positive psychology in schools. Character strengths use mediates the association of strength knowledge and well-being. Using the Assessment Program for Affective and Social Outcomes (2nd Version) (APASO-II), the Subjective Happiness Scale, and the Physical Health Subscale of the PERMA-profiler, a multidimensional measure of PERMA-H was validated using confirmatory factor analysis in the context of a positive education program evaluation in senior primary school students. The association of PERMA-H measurements with school well-being as measured by general satisfaction of school life, and levels of depression and anxiety, and the mediation mechanism of character strengths use in such association were studied using path analysis. A cross-sectional sample of 726 senior primary school students (i.e., grade 4–6) aged 8–13 from the two primary schools completed a baseline evaluation questionnaire of a positive education program. Satisfactory internal reliability of the scales was obtained with Cronbach's alpha coefficients <0.70. The scales were generally positively and moderately inter-correlated, except for level of anxiety and depression symptoms which was negative. Good psychometric properties of APASO-II were evidenced from the factor structure of sub-scale scores conforming to six factors of the PERMA-H model by confirmatory factor analysis. Path analyses showed that the APASO-II factors together with measures of subject happiness and positive health as the multidimensional PERMA-H model of positive education differentially predicted general satisfaction of school life, level of anxiety and depression, and character strengths use. Character strengths use mediated the relationship of Positive Engagement with general satisfaction of school life. Positive education utilizes knowledge and research findings from positive psychology in schools to produce intended positive outcomes like enhanced well-being and reduced level of depression in students. This study provided a solid foundation for related scientific research and the understanding of the multidimensional framework of positive psychology concepts. Systematic promotion and longitudinal evaluation of positive education at the institutional level in Hong Kong can be achieved with the use of APASO-II and the positive education scales of subjective happiness and physical health.

Research Area(s)

  • APASO-II, Hong Kong, affective and social outcomes, character strengths, confirmatory factor analysis, path analysis, PERMA-H, positive education

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