Intentional growth training: Developing an intervention to increase personal growth initiative

Megan A. Thoen, Christine Robitschek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background: A one-week intervention (Intentional Growth Training; IGT) to increase personal growth initiative (PGI) was created and tested in a series of studies to determine its effect on PGI level. Because PGI predicts psychological well-being and depression, IGT has potential to have considerable benefit on a person's mental health. Methods: Study 1 was the initial assessment of whether IGT increased PGI greater than various control conditions. Study 2 employed an enhanced version of IGT and utilised the singular components of IGT determining which components were most impactful at increasing PGI. Study 3 was a narrative analysis of writing samples from Study 2 determining whether participant language varied by condition in use of negative or positive emotion, or personal growth-related words. Results: In Study 1, PGI increased significantly across conditions. In Study 2, the growth activity only condition, and PGI education coupled with the growth activity, produced significant increases in PGI. In Study 3, those receiving only PGI education used more growth-related words than control conditions. Conclusion: The most effective IGT format appears to include both education about PGI and a growth activity. The benefits of utilising IGT are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-170
Number of pages22
JournalApplied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Deconstruction
  • Intentional Growth Training
  • Intervention
  • Narrative analysis
  • Personal growth initiative


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