Psychological Well-Being, Self-Efficacy and Personal Growth

Executive Summary

To study the connection between mental well-being, self-efficacy, and personal growth, researchers used three scales namely; Ryff’s Scales of Psychological Well-being, General Self-Efficacy Scale, and Personal Growth Initiative. The study has questions and hypotheses that are used to drive the elements that would lead to a justifiable conclusion. The questions included, does having strong self-efficacy affect the state of being psychologically well? What does personal initiative determine in an individual’s psychological well-being? Does personal growth determine the extent to which they perceive well-being? And what role does self-efficacy play in personal growth and state of psychological well-being? To answer the questions, these were the hypotheses; People who have challenges with psychological well-being will have low chances to have personal growth initiative. Those individuals with low self-efficacy have issues in their psychological well-being. Lack of self-efficacy and personal growth motive would lead to a poor state of psychological wellbeing.

The independent variables for this case included autonomy/independence, ecological control, determination in life, self-acceptance, and positive conduct with people. The outcome of the study shows a significant link between these variables and thus, self-efficacy can determine personal growth, welfare can be affected by an individual’s autonomy among other related issues. The study used a cross-sectional correlational design, while the data collection method was a survey conducted online via the university website. The data were analyzed using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation.


Researchers undertook a study to explore the association between psychological wellbeing, self-efficacy, and personal growth initiative. Psychological wellbeing means the emotional health and the general function that a person has in terms of a combination of feelings and affection on the bodily function (Akin & Radford, 2018). Self-efficacy on the other end means a person’s belief in their capacity to implement a habit that is necessary to initiate given performance achievements. According to Balzarotti et al. (2016), personal growth initiative means the ability to contemplate and actualize where someone wants to be in the future in terms of development and other positive-centric matters.

The research question for the study consists of the following:

  1. Does having strong self-efficacy affect the state of being psychologically well?
  2. What does personal initiative determine in an individual’s psychological well-being?
  3. Does personal growth determine the extent to which they perceive well-being?
  4. What role does self-efficacy play in personal growth and state of psychological well-being?

The significance of the study is to know how the three elements relate to each other. Through the study, a researcher would know various issues that involve the psychological well-being of a person. Additionally, the study would equip the researchers with information about self-efficacy on the sample given (Beri & Jain, 2016). Lastly, the study enables the researchers to have an understanding of personal growth initiative and how it is related to the other two terms.

Literature Review

To conduct qualitative and quantitative research, it is important to use literature review as one point to discovering some vital elements of the study (Kalat, 2016). Thus, this study used three measures namely; Ryff’s Scales of Psychological Well-being, General Self-Efficacy Scale, and Personal Growth Initiative (Opree et al., 2018). By use of the above measures, the research questions and hypothesis would be blended to get a substantial conclusion of the study.

The Interrelationship of Three Attributes

The relationship between psychological wellbeing, self-efficacy, and personal growth initiative can be explained by relating to three measures used in the study. Hirata and Kamakura (2018) state that self-esteem is significantly impacted by the parenting style. In addition, Zee and Koomen (2016) suggest that teacher self-efficacy is connected to students’ academic adjustments and personal accomplishments. According to Ryff’s scales of measuring an individual’s psychological well-being, a segment known as autonomy helps people to have confidence in their opinions, even when they differ from other people (Chan et al., 2017). For example, if the students were asked what is their position concerning the embracing of woke culture in the university administration and politics. In this case, the autonomy section would mean that some students would have confidence in the matter by expressing their self-matters when they may not count on others (Berzonsky & Cieciuch, 2016). The 42 objects that are measured in the instrument show that personal growth is from the experiences that contribute to the well-being of an individual because they usually perceive high development in their personal lives (Barahona et al., 2018). In this case, being ready to have new experiences improves self-behavior over time and might change their standard of life. When an individual is contented with their capability to have personal growth, self-efficacy leads to a notable state of well-being.

Under the General Self-efficacy (GSE), the measure can also show how the three attributes are interrelated. In this case, it means that the evaluation of situations will be based on the esteem one has towards the matter, which makes the ideology of personal growth from the efficacy (Mao et al., 2020). During the study by Schwarzer and Jerusalem, they found that a person can perform a novel or difficult work or cope with hefty challenges in various categories of human anatomy (Klainin-Yobas et al., 2016). Under this section, perceived self-esteem aids in objective setting, effort investment, and recovery from major issues. Therefore, GSE can be referred to as a resistance resource factor (Malinauskas, 2017). Each item in the scale depicts a successful coping and means that the internal stable issues are successful. Now basing on what the developers of the scale depicted, it is evident that the action of controlling situations from self-evaluation boosted by the efficacy levels lead to personal growth hence, a state of improved psychological well-being.

When relating to what the scale proposes, a researcher can be able to see the interrelationship of the three attributes if one investigates the behavior of respondents. For example, university students may be requested to answer issues related to how they solve difficult issues if they try hard enough (Mao et al., 2020). Therefore, under the scoring criteria, they can tick as hardly true, not at all true, and so forth. Thus, it shows that having strong self-efficacy tends to view challenging issues as another matter to be mastered (Milam, 2019). Additionally, people with notable levels of self-esteem develop a deeper interest in the events they take part in (Nepal, 2018). On the contrary, people with low self-efficacy tend to avoid challenging tasks, they also believe that difficult problems are beyond their ability to work on and so forth.

It is important to say that the combination of GSE and Ryff’s scale helps derive specific attributes that relate to personal growth, well-being, and self-efficacy. When a person is focused to have cognitive ability about what they want, self-efficacy drives them to have the goals which will satisfy their matters hence developed mind as a person (Hendrix et al., 2016). For one to have significant well-being, they must have self-esteem accompanied by the state of wanting to fulfill personal growth hence clearly showing the interrelationship (Parray & Kumar, 2017). Ryff’s scale is an eye-opener on this matter as a reader can grasp an important aspect of that sense of exploration towards news incidents that stabilize their well-being.

The relationship between the three attributes is evident when exploring the Personal Growth Initiative developed by Robitschek and others in 2012. When reviewing the scale, a person will obtain important information relating to personal growth (Klainin-Yobas et al., 2016). The measure reveals that the complexity of processes that one goes through in life contributes to their personal growth. If an individual gets stumbling block towards what they want, they can critically apply self-efficacy to logically deal with the situation hence, leading to improved personal growth (Roslan et al., 2017). For example, the readiness for change element may ask questions such as the ability to think about what one needs about themselves, knowing the time to change specific matters, and understanding how to make the changes.

The skills assessed by PGIS promote positive mental health and that is why they relate to the wellbeing of a given individual. From the scale, the most consistency was adequate to strong scored related to measure of wellbeing, providing a rationale for the reliability of the tool (Tan & Andriessen, 2021). Therefore, PGIS therapies show that there is the importance of continued growth in life as it contributes to healthy functioning which is a determinant of well-being for a person (Weigold et al., 2020). According to López et al. (2020), individuals who are more engaged in intentional personal growth are well-established in handling challenges that raise their self-efficacy hence they settle on positive wellbeing. Citing to Chen et al. (2018), 37.5% of people would show significant levels of personal growth element in them according to a US-based study on self-exploration and individualistic culture. Therefore, the three measures typically show that for one to have stable psychological well-being, they must have self-efficacy that drives them in achieving their growth initiative.



The hypotheses for the study include the following:

  1. People who have challenges with psychological well-being may have low chances to have personal growth initiatives.
  2. Those individuals with low self-efficacy have issues in their psychological well-being.
  3. Lack of self-efficacy and personal growth initiative would lead to a poor state of psychological wellbeing.

Through the above three hypotheses, a researcher is provided with a link in underlying theories concerning the three variables mention in the topic. After perusing the questions with a hypothesis, it is possible to understand the correlation of the separate elements being investigated (Fatima et al., 2018). Hypothesis gives a preview of the likelihood to get an answer from specific research work. Through the hypothesis, it will be possible to ascertain how personal well-being, self-efficacy, and personal growth relate by using samples in the study.

Operational Definition of the Variables

Independent variable refers to the element subject to manipulation and changes by the researcher. The dependent variable refers to the element that is being tested and is affected by the independent variable (Freire et al.,2019). In the first question, the independent variable is self-efficacy while the dependent variable is psychological wellbeing. That means without measuring self-efficacy cues, it would be hard to determine whether one is psychologically well or not (Freire et al., 2016). In the second question, the independent variable is personal initiative while the dependent variable is psychological well-being. In the third question, personal growth takes the independent variable while psychological well-being becomes the dependent variable (Beri & Jain, 2016). The last question has two independent variables that are the self-efficacy and personal growth and the dependent variable is well-being.

Research Design

The study used a cross-sectional correlation design to explore the link between the three key aspects of the study. Under this style, the researchers indulged themselves in a systematic exploration of the nature of relationships between the three variables rather than the direct cause-effect relationships (Guntuku et al., 2019). The cross-sectional element of the design means that there is an examination of changes in more than one variable and that is related to the other which is commonly known as co-variance (Jhangiani et al., 2019). This type of design is vital in evaluating the course, extent, and scale of the connections.

Under the key topic, the results of the correlational studies made on the university students provided the generation of the hypothesis that would be tested in quasi-experimental research. For the results to be generated, there must be the observation of the trend in which the response for the participants would be analyzed depending on their specific approach on the matter (Hanson et al., 2016). For instance, when comparing the nature of people who are determined to grow in life, it possible to establish the relationship with self-esteem and afterward how the well-being is depicted.

Description of the Sample

The sample used for this study was first-year university students. In the study, the researchers observed measures for 200 participants in total where 130 were females while 70 being men. The samples used were a representation of an entire population that would give findings on the research as a whole. The results gotten from the samples would mean that the inferences about the general population would be established. It is easier to collect data using samples of 200 people rather than interviewing everyone in a given population.

Data Collection Instruments

The study was conducted using scales measures as instruments to collect data. For this case, the researchers used three scales namely; Ryff’s Scales of Psychological Well-being, General Self-Efficacy Scale, and Personal Growth Initiative. For instance, for the Ryff’s Scales, there were 42 items that the students would answer by ticking strongly agree, agree, strongly disagree, and so forth. (Henn et al., 2016). Essentially, the personal growth initiative is measured by the Personal Growth Initiative Scale-II, namely PGIS-II (Weigold et al., 2018). The GSE scale used 10 items while the PGIS-II used 16 items that would collect data from the university students. The three scales are important in psychology as they give a substantial conclusion on the factions being measured (Jhangiani et al., 2019). When observed keenly, it means that the tests were divided into three parts where each scale would contribute equally to the three variables that are being measured in the study.

The Procedure of Data Collection

The procedure of data collection involved an online survey using the university website. However, before administering the scales, the researchers had a raft of issues to do before that. First, the researchers identified the issues and opportunities for collecting data. In this case, they explored whether the university policies, practices, and processes allow for conducting of such studies for the students more so first years (Jhangiani et al., 2019). They also checked the possibility of barriers such as breach of some requirements for the student’s integrity and appropriateness when conducting such work.

Data Analysis

Pearson Product Moment Correlation was used to analyze data from the students. The choice of the mode of analysis was important because the tool measures the strength and direction of the association that exists between two variables examined on at least one interval scale (Hanson et al., 2016). Pearson’s correlation draws a line of best fit in the data for the two variables. In this case, the correlation coefficient r, indicated how far away all the data points are from the line of best. As shown in figure 1 below, the Pearson tool had data points such as psychological well-being, environmental mastery, positive relations among others, which were against self-efficacy and personal growth initiative elements. For example, the correlation coefficient for the psychological well-being against self-efficacy is 0.551 meaning that since the figure is below +1 and beyond -1, there is a linear relationship between self-efficacy and psychological well-being.

Ethical provisions

First, the study obtained informed consent meaning that the students were briefed about the research and given the significance of participating in the task voluntarily. Secondly, the results gotten were anonymous meaning that the student’s confidentiality was not breached on identify basis (Kalat, 2016). Lastly, the study did not subject the students to any psychological harm as there were no personal questions asked to the students which would bring elements of discrimination from other samples.

Results of the Study

The correlation coefficient for the self-efficacy and psychological wellbeing element of environmental mastery is 0.661. Thus, according to Pearson’s rule, when a figure is close to +1, there is a significant connection between the two variables. For this reason, the results show that self-efficacy relates to environmental mastery on close ties and therefore, students who have self-esteem have higher chances of environmental mastery (López et al., 2020). The personal growth initiative factor against psychological well-being, and other elements shows a positive result since the results showed 0.231, 0.222, 0.344. 0.241, 0.048 as shown in the figure. There was no negative correlation coefficient and the significant value for the psychological well-being was over 0.05 for personal growth, self-acceptance, and purpose in lifetime. The personal growth initiative against the elements of psychological wellbeing was less significant as the figure are either at 0.000 or slightly higher from 0.

Results of the study
Figure 1: Results of the study

Discussion of the Results

The outcomes of the analysis satisfy the study’s hypotheses and answer questions that were asked in the first sections of the research paper. From the above results, there is a solid association between the variables tested by the study since the correlation coefficient is positive and also beyond the zero point. For example, self-efficacy and personal growth have a coefficient of 0.81 which is close to +1 meaning that the two variables are closely related (Malinauskas, 2017). Therefore, it means, increases or decreases in one variable affect the other. For example, if an individual has low self-efficacy, the chances of having high personal growth are also low.

For personal growth initiative, the significance noted as sig. is at 0.000 at self-acceptance and purpose in life (Milam, 2019). Therefore, according to Pearson’s rules, any figure that is greater or less than 0.05 has a statistically significant correlation. In this case, an increase in self-acceptance and purpose in life significantly affects the personal growth initiative (Nepal, 2018). The reason is that the independent variable in the case is the self-acceptance and purpose in life that determine personal growth initiative. All the other correlation coefficients and significance can be related using a similar rule to analyze the results.


This research paper explores the relationship between psychological well-being, personal growth initiative, and self-efficacy. The study was conducted on 70 males and 130 females all university freshers. The questions that the study included were whether or not having strong self-efficacy determines the psychological well-being of an individual. One of the hypotheses for the study was that people who have challenges with psychological well-being will have low chances to have personal growth initiative. The study used a cross-sectional correlational research design that was facilitated by Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation tool to help interpret the results. The data instruments used were various psychological scales that had several items that the students would agree or disagree on. The data collection procedure was an online survey distributed on the university website. From the results, the study shows that there are strong relationships between the variables, and also there is a statistical correlation significance for the three variables. For instance, an increase in self-acceptance increases self-efficacy and vice versa.


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PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Psychological Well-Being, Self-Efficacy and Personal Growth." September 15, 2023.

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PsychologyWriting. "Psychological Well-Being, Self-Efficacy and Personal Growth." September 15, 2023.