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Abstract

We developed and tested a brief three-session program to build resilience (protection from depressive symptoms) and thriving (positive growth) in undergraduates by teaching adaptive explanatory styles. In Study 1, a pretest–posttest waiting list control experiment with 28 undergraduates found that our Program for Accelerated Thriving and Health (PATH) significantly increased optimistic and personal control explanatory styles (Attributional Style Questionnaire), resilience (Beck Depression Inventory-II), and thriving (Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale 10). In Study 2, a placebo control experiment with 63 undergraduates found a modified version of the program to significantly increase resilience. All effects were at least moderate in size. As predicted, a personal control explanatory style significantly predicted thriving in both studies. Predictors of resilience and thriving were discussed in terms of differentiating the constructs.