Jan 152010

Source: “Pursuing Human Strengths,” Martin Bolt, Introduction

The Personal Growth Initiative Scale was published in 1998 by Christine Robitschek. The PGIS incorporates choice, change, control, and clear direction. She believes that personal growth must be a deliberate undertaking. A high score reflects a person who: “recognizes and capitalizes on opportunities for personal change. They search out and create situations that will foster their growth. In contrast, people with low scores actively avoid situations that challenge them to grow.”

“PGIS scores seemed to be strongly positive way related to psychological well-being and negatively related to psychological distress.” “PGIS spores or positively linked to assertiveness, internal locus of control, an instrumentality (knowing how to reach an important goals).” According to Bert Hodges, “Values provide distant but real guides that help us to find our way, that help us in the journey of life. Values provide not only place but perspective; they indicate where we have come from and where we’re going.”

Values will vary according to a person’s world view and life goals. Mihal Csikszentmilalyi says that a meaningful, productive life involves both differentiation and integration. Differentiation results from taking proactive responsibility for personal development. Integration results from also accepting responsibility for our relationships with others in our social networks. While it is healthful to be able to function atonymously, we also need to feel connected and have a sense of belonging. For instance, adolescents need to grow up, but do better if they retain strong connections with their parents.

Personal Growth Initiative Scale (PGIS) Exercise

Original source: Robitschek, 1998.

Using the scale, indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each statement.

1 = definitely disagree
2 = mostly disagree
3 = somewhat disagree
4 = somewhat agree
5 = mostly agree
6 = definitely agree

1. _____ I know how to change specific things that I want a change in my life.

2. _____ I have a good sense of where I’m headed in my life.

3. _____ If I want to change something in my life, I know how to initiate the transition process.

4. _____ I can choose the role I want to have in a group.

5. _____ I know what I need to do to get started toward reaching my goals.

6. _____ I have a specific action plan to help me reach my goals.

7. _____ I take charge of my life.

8. _____ I know what my unique contribution to the world might be.

9. _____ I have a plan for making my life more balanced.


To score your responses, simply add the numbers you checked to obtain a total score. PGIS scores range from 9 to 54. People who score higher (31.5 is the midpoint) recognize and capitalize on opportunities for personal change. More than that, they search out and create situations that will Foster their growth. In contrast, people with low scores actively avoid situations that challenge them to grow.