Vakgroep Psychologie, Gezondheid & Technologie

How do students use their strengths and talents to reach their health goals? 

The qualitative part of a mixed-method study

Type opdracht:                                BA HPT, BA PPT or MA PPT

In –of extern?:                                 Intern

Meerdere studenten mogelijk?   Ja

Data:                                                 Kwalitatief


In this study you find out how the choice for a health goal and the pursuit of a personal health goal can be facilitated by using personal strengths. You will also explore whether this approach has pitfalls and how they can be prevented.

Until now the strengths approach in student populations is mostly used with regard to educational aims and personal development. In this project we explore how it can be used with regard to personal health goals, such as improving physical exercise, becoming less stressed/more relaxed, dieting or decrease substance use (tabacco, alcohol, etc). Even though literature shows promising outcomes with regard to a strengths-based approach, there still seems no literature on the working mechanisms of strengths and their contribution to improved goal-proficiency or well-being.

In order to examine the function of personal strengths in the process of pursuit of health goals, a longitudinal study is currently being designed which employs a mixed method design. This includes quantitative analyses using the data gathered through the experience sampling measurements as well as qualitative data from interviews.

These BA/MA tasks are focusing on the interview part of the study. You can participate in one of the three interview rounds, transcribe interviews and analyze the verbal data. You will work together with other Bachelor students and Master students in this project. Everybody will have his/her individualized research questions to work out.

During the current study, three semi-structured interviews will be carried out. The first interview will be an introductory interview at day 0 to assess the participants’ baseline state regarding motivation, need satisfaction and overall well-being. The second interview will take place two weeks post baseline (t1), at or around day 14. This interview is meant to assess how the participants feel in the process. It will furthermore be assessed how students made use of their strengths in reaching their weekly goals. The last interview will take place after week four, on or around day 28, when participants finished their month of goal pursuit (t2). During this reflective interview, participants will be asked to elaborate on their goal pursuit. They will be asked to give examples of when and how they used their strengths in order to reach their goal, possibly in the eye of challenges.


Begeleider:  Dr. Christina Bode, Afd. Psychologie, Gezondheid en Technologie,