In the last few years, attention has been given not only to negative impacts of stressful conditions but also to possible positive outcomes. The present study was devoted to personal growth in two challenging conditions in two samples of participants coming from different nations and different cultural backgrounds. The study extends existing knowledge by more intimate insight into the different facets of social and cognitive/affective personal growth. The experience of personal growth was individualized as far as the number of changes, their intensity, and facets/items in which the changes occurred.

Least affected was the spirituality area. The reason is probably that the conditions of our studies, no matter how stressful, were not strong enough to affect such a deeply intimate and strongly held individual process as is belief in God. The substantial point is that in both our studies the participants underwent no unexpected aversive event, but an undertaking of their own choosing.