University of Twente Student Theses


A strengths-based approach in goal pursuit among young professionals : a mixed method design

Preuhs, Katharina (2019) A strengths-based approach in goal pursuit among young professionals : a mixed method design.

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Abstract:Introduction: A strengths based approach has been suggested to be of potential benefit for goal pursuit with respect to health goals. Yet, a clear theory on the working mechanism of personal strengths use in goal pursuit is lacking. The study at hand therefore aimed at examining young professionals’ strengths use in order to work on an individually chosen and personally relevant health goal, thereby exploring the context of relevant concepts such as motivation, well-being and need satisfaction as well as potential determinants of strengths use during study participation. Method: The study employed a mixed method design, including qualitative interviews, surveys and an ecological momentary assessment. In total, 9 participants compromising 2 men and 7 women with a mean age of 23.4 (SD=1.51) completed the four week study. Participants were asked to apply self-chosen personal strengths during health goal pursuit. During participation, surveys assessed participants’ motivation, psychological need satisfaction and overall well-being. Besides, interviews aimed at assessing use of strengths and potential working mechanism while an ecological monetary assessment via the mobile application PACO continuously measured the context of strengths use during goal pursuit. Results: Even though applying one’s strengths seemed to happen rather unconsciously, qualitative analyses suggest strengths use to fulfil various purposes which, explored in the light of a conceptual model, seems to resemble self-regulation theory. Furthermore, strengths use was shown to possibly support goal pursuit by means of increasing self-efficacy and potentially result in some degree of self-actualization. Analyses of survey data suggest a significant increase in relatedness among participants, which is in accordance with social environment repeatedly appearing as a crucial factor in both goal pursuit and strengths use. Linear mixed model analyses suggest use of strengths to be rather unstable over time, yet reinforce health goal pursuit among the sample. Discussion: The rich amount of data as well as mixed methods design allow for triangulation of findings, thereby offering insights in strengths use among a highly educated sample. Yet, the suggested working mechanism of strengths use needs verification in future research. Besides, external validity of the findings with respect to less motivated and educated samples as well as non-self-concordant health goals is questionable. Further research with respect to diverse populations as well as non-self-concordant health goals is therefore suggested.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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