On the Relationship Between Character Strengths and Sustainable Behavior

Victor Corral-Verdugo*, Cesar Tapia-Fonllem, Anais Ortiz-Valdez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This article addresses the link existing between sustainable behavior (SB) and the character strengths that constitute universal virtues. Research was conducted to confirm the idea that SB comprises actions of virtuous nature. SB is defined as a positive behavior aimed at the protection of the socio-physical environment, including pro-ecological, altruistic, frugal, and equitable behaviors as its constituting facets. Four hundred eighty Mexican participants responded to the Values in Action Survey—measuring character strengths—and a questionnaire assessing SB. A structural equation model was specified and tested. The results confirmed the presence of six first-order factors (character strengths) so highly interrelated as to produce a higher order factor of “common virtues.” A SB factor was also formed from the interrelations between pro-ecological, altruistic, frugal, and equitable behaviors. The common virtues factor was strongly related to SB (R2 =.54), supporting the hypothesized virtuous nature of SB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-901
Number of pages25
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, © 2014 SAGE Publications.


  • character strengths
  • pro-environmentalism
  • pro-social behavior
  • sustainable behavior
  • virtue


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