Personal Growth Initiative and Mental Health: A Meta-Analysis

Ingrid K. Weigold, Arne Weigold, Elizabeth J. Russell, Ginelle L. Wolfe, Jusiah L. Prowell, Caitlin A. Martin-Wagar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Personal growth initiative (PGI) is an individual's active and intentional desire to grow in personally important areas. In the past 20 years, a body of literature has emerged examining PGI's relationship to mental health. We conducted the first meta-analyses to synthesize this literature. Two meta-analyses examined the relationship between PGI total scores and distress (k = 22) and wellness (k = 37). Both average effect sizes were significant. We also examined the potential impact of nine moderators. The type of outcome assessed was a significant moderator for PGI and distress, and the PGI measure used was a significant moderator for PGI and wellness, accounting for 61% and 15% of the overall variance, respectively. Meta-analyses examining the relationship between the four PGI subscales (Readiness for Change, Planfulness, Using Resources, and Intentional Behavior) and distress (k = 4) and wellness (k = 7) yielded similar results to the total score analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-390
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Counseling and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • distress
  • mental health
  • meta-analysis
  • personal growth initiative
  • wellness


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