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Intentional Growth Training: Developing an Intervention to Increase Personal Growth Initiative


  • The authors express no conflicts of interest with the submission of this manuscript for publication.

Address for correspondence: Christine Robitschek, Department of Psychology, Texas Tech University, Box 42051, Lubbock, TX 79409-2051, USA. Email:


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.