Migrant Domestic Workers’ Character Strengths and the Role of Work-Related Factors: A Strengths-Based Perspective

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Most studies on migrant domestic workers (MDW) focus on their problems and vulnerabilities, whereas not much is known about their positive attributes and character strengths. Hence, this study intends to deviate from the usual deficit-based view of MDW, which portrays them as victims, to a strengths-based perspective, which highlights their character strengths. In this study, we examined MDW's character strengths (i.e. positive human attributes that contribute to the thriving of oneself and others) and work-related factors associated with it. The participants of the study were 631 Filipino female MDW in Hong Kong. We examined how work-related factors (employer support and working conditions) predicted different character strength domains (courage, humanity, justice, moderation, transcendence and wisdom) through strengths use. Results of structural equation modelling revealed that employer support consistently predicted all six domains of character strengths through increased strengths use. These findings highlight the important role of employer support on MDW's character strengths. More importantly, it can raise critical awareness on MDW's strengths and well-being, and provide a platform for future strengths-based programmes and policies.