Psychiatry Experts

Maria Philipina Wissing

Transdisciplinary Health Research
North-West University
South Africa


Maria Philipina Wissing is currently working as Professor in North-West University, South Africa.

Research Interest

Her current research focus is on the understanding, measurement and promotion of psychosocial well-being and strengths in diverse contexts from a bio-psycho-social health perspective. Her research programme in psychofortology / positive psychology includes several team research projects that focus on the exploration of the nature, prevalence, patterns, dynamics and enhancement of psychological well-being in various contexts as well as the validation of psychometric instruments for the SA context. This research programme consists of projects building unto each other, namely: A Trans-University research programme in Fortology: Clarification and advancement of psychosocial wellbeing in adults and children, and in various contexts (FORT1, 2002-2005); Understanding and promoting psychosocial health, resilience and strengths in an African context (FORT2, 2006-2007); and The prevalence of levels of psychosocial health: dynamics and relationships with biomarkers of (ill)health in South African social contexts (FORT3, 2008/2012 - current). FORT 4 is in development which will further explore the dynamics of psychosocial well-being, refine theoretical models, and evaluate the validity of measures as well as the impact of interventions to enhance psychosocial health. The main focus now is on meaning, goals, relational well-being, and cultures of positivity in various contexts. This project is linked to the the international 15-country Eudaimonic-Hedonic Happiness Investigation (EHHI) of which she is one of the core conceptualizing and overseeing members, and in which they explore facets and theories of well-being across cultures and countries in a mixed method approach (see for example Delle Fave et al, 2016).


  • Rugiera, J., Nienaber, A.W., & Wissing, M. P. (2015). Evaluating the effect of a psychological well-being programme for students at a Tanzanian University, African Journal for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, 18(2), (August online issue)

  • Delle Fave, A., Brdar, I., Wissing, M. P., Araujo, U., Castro Solano, A., Freire, T., Hern├índez-Pozo, M. d. R., Jose, P., Martos, T., Nafstad, H. E.,Nakamura, J., Singh, K., Soosai-Nathan, L.(2016). Lay definitions of happiness across nations: The primacy of inner harmony and relational connectedness, Frontiers in Psychology,7:30. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00030.

  • Schutte, L., Wissing, M. P., Ellis, S. M., Jose, P. E., & Vella -Brodrick, D. A. (2016). Rasch analysis of the Meaning in Life Questionnaire among adults from South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 14(12).DOI: 10.1186/s12955-016-0414-x

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