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The Psychological Thriving Scale

The Psychological thriving scale was created to capture O’Leary and Ickovics (1995), and Carver’s (1998) conceptualisations of psychological thriving in the context of living with a chronic illness. Carver’s (1995) model posits that psychological thriving occurs as a result of continued growth and gains in one or more important psychosocial areas, namely, personal relationships, self-confidence, and important life skills. These gains are proposed to be ongoing and reflect a trajectory of growth as the individual learns to adapt to the stress of living with a chronic illness.

The 4-item thriving scale addresses the perception of change (for better or worse) due to chronic illness by asking respondents to compare their current circumstances to those in their life before they had chronic illness.  Perceptions are assessed across each of three domains: life satisfaction, self-improvement, and quality of personal relationships.

Responses to each item are rated on a 4-point Likert-type scale individualized for each domain question with the first option reflecting positive change (thriving), the second reflecting no change (resilience), the third reflecting slight negative change (minor loss), and the fourth reflecting large negative change (major loss). Items are first reverse-scored before combining them into a single index score so that higher scores reflected greater positive change. The thriving scale can be used with any chronic illness population as the items refer to a chronic illness which can be substituted for the chronic condition of interest.

The Psychological Thriving scale has demonstrated good internal consistency when combined into a single measure of thriving, in samples with arthritis (Cronbach’s alpha = .80)(Sirois & Hirsch, 2013), The thriving scale has also demonstrated good criterion-related validity in a sample of people with inflammatory bowel disease, with baseline scores on the loss, resilience, and thriving items predicting differences in adjustment profiles at the 6-month follow-up (Sirois & Hirsch, 2017).

Please use the following reference when using the Psychological Thriving Scale:

Sirois, F. M., & Hirsch, J. K. (2013). Associations of psychological thriving with coping efficacy, expectations for future growth, and depressive symptoms over time in people with arthritis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 75(3), 279-286.

To access the Psychological Thriving Scale and manual, please click here.

References

Carver, C. S. (1998). Resilience and thriving: Issues, models, and linkages. The Journal of Social Issues, 54, 245-266.

O’Leary, V. E., & Ickovics, J. R. (1995). Resilience and thriving in response to challenge: an opportunity for a paradigm shift in women’s health. Womens Health, 1(2), 121-142.

Sirois, F. M., & Hirsch, J. K. (2013). Associations of psychological thriving with coping efficacy, expectations for future growth, and depressive symptoms over time in people with arthritis. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 75(3), 279-286.

Sirois, F. M., & Hirsch, J. K. (2017). A longitudinal study of the profiles of psychological thriving, resilience, and loss in people with inflammatory bowel disease. British Journal of Health Psychology, 22(4), 920-939. doi:doi:10.1111/bjhp.12262