Reported Growth Following Mountaineering Expeditions: The Role of Personality and Perceived Stress

Nathan Smith, Florence Kinnafick, Sam Cooley, Gro M Sandal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Results from previous studies suggest that stressful environmental conditions such as those faced on expedition may result in psychological growth. Building on previous research, the present cross-sectional study examined the role of personality and perceived stress in relation to post-expedition growth. Eighty-three participants who had completed a mountaineering expedition responded to measures of stress, personality, growth, well-being, and resilience. Findings implicate perceived stress, and personality dimensions of agreeableness and openness, in post-expedition growth. Growth was associated with well-being but distinct from psychological resilience, highlighting the need to consider growth and resilience independently. Present findings support the proposition that stressful expedition environments may promote positive psychological adjustment and identify factors that may influence this change. Research is needed to delineate the impact of other variables, such as coping, on changes that occurs during the post-expedition phase. Such research holds relevance for maintaining health following immersion in extreme and unusual environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-955
JournalEnvironment and Behavior
Issue number8
Early online date28 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • personality
  • stress
  • mountaineering
  • expedition
  • post-expedition growth


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