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Obstacles vs. resources: comparing the effects of a problem-focused, solution-focused and combined approach on perceived goal attainability and commitment.

Abdulla, Adam; Woods, Ruth

Authors

Adam Abdulla

Ruth Woods



Abstract

Previous research suggests that solution-focused (SF) questions may be superior to problem-focused (PF) alternatives for a range of practical and psychological outcomes. However, a great deal remains unknown regarding the effects of specific SF (or PF) approaches and the mechanisms through which they occur. The aim of this pre-registered study was to investigate the extent to which SF questions targeting resources have a more positive effect on perceived goal attainability (PGA) and goal commitment than PF questions targeting obstacles or a combination of PF & SF questions targeting both resources and obstacles. 115 students aged 15-16 were randomly assigned to either (i) a SF condition targeting resources, (ii) a PF condition targeting obstacles or (iii) a combined-approach condition targeting both. All participants were asked to identify a challenging area of study before answering condition-specific questions. Although not all statistically significant, results indicated that the SF group had higher mean PGA and goal commitment than both the PF and combined PF & SF group. Effect size estimates were small-to-medium for PGA and small for goal commitment. Results of a mediation analysis suggested that condition had an indirect effect on goal commitment through enhanced PGA. Qualitative data analysis suggested that the PF question was more likely than the SF question to elicit thoughts of self-regulation, whereas the SF question was more likely to elicit thoughts of tools and resources. These findings are consistent with those from previous research and broaden our understanding of SF (vs PF) questions.

Citation

ABDULLA, A. and WOODS, R. [2020]. Obstacles vs. resources: comparing the effects of a problem-focused, solution-focused and combined approach on perceived goal attainability and commitment. International journal of applied positive psychology [online], Online First. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s41042-020-00044-6

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 16, 2020
Online Publication Date Nov 11, 2020
Deposit Date Oct 26, 2020
Publicly Available Date Nov 12, 2020
Journal International journal of applied positive psychology
Print ISSN 2364-5040
Electronic ISSN 2364-5059
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s41042-020-00044-6
Keywords Solution-focused; Problem-focused; Perceived goal attainability; Goal commitment; Perceived obstacles; Perceived resources
Public URL https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/978484

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ABDULLA [2020] Obstacles vs resources (VOR) (465 Kb)
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Publisher Licence URL
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/





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