Growth mindset intervention among French students, and its articulation with proactive coping strategies

  • S. Parada
  • J. Verlhiac


Growth mindset interventions, by teaching a lay theory (malleable instead of fixed self-conceptions, Yeager & Dweck, 2012), allow students to thrive in the face of hardship and improve themselves (for a review see Wilson & Buttrick, 2016). While previous research focused on academic achievement, we propose to examine the articulation of the growth mindset and proactive coping strategies (Greenglass, 2002), and their impact on well-being during this critical transition period (from high-school to college, Parada, Mazé & Verlhiac, 2016). A pilot study examined this question with 76 freshmen in psychology. Participants were assigned to an Original intervention condition (Blackwell et al., 2007) vs. Revised (based on Yeager et al., 2016) vs. control. We expected a larger endorsement of growth mindset and learning goals (AGQ-R) in the original condition than in the control condition, and even more in the revised condition (intra-subject measures before-after the intervention). Preliminary results show a higher endorsement of growth mindset after the intervention for the original and revised condition compared to the control (F (2,67) = 3.27, p = .04, R² = .11) In our second study (N = 220 1st year student), we plan to implement the intervention and measure (before-after) mindset, goals, proactive coping (Brief-Cope R) and stress (PSS-4). We expect a better endorsement of growth mindset, learning goals and proactive coping strategies and a lower stress for the revised condition (vs. control). These studies aim to demonstrate the beneficial impact of a short and widely administrable mindset intervention on student health and success.
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