Lemons Into Lemonade: Development and Validation of an Inventory to Assess Dispositional Thriving
Research indicates that health and disorder are polar opposites of the same continuum of vulnerability. Research has focused almost exclusively upon one end of this continuum, namely disorder. As such, instruments that assess adaptive dispositions (e.g., “thriving”, or post-trauma growth) have rarely been developed. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate an instrument that assesses dispositional thriving. Undergraduate students (N = 289) were asked to complete the dispositional thriving inventory (DTI), in addition to a number of other instruments designed to assess adaptive (e.g., optimism, acceptance, planning, etc.) and maladaptive (depression, dysfunctional attitudes, etc.) constructs. Factor analysis revealed four orthogonal factors comprising the DTI. Results indicated that the 26-item scale is reliable (α = .88) and valid. Scores on the DTI positively correlated with optimism, and adaptive coping, and negatively correlated with depression and dysfunctional attitudes. There is some evidence that the DTI is a reliable and valid instrument. The construct of thriving has wide implications upon the onset and treatment of psychopathology.