Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology 990;58(1):99-108.
A study was conducted to assess the psychosocial characteristics of individuals who become involved in large group awareness training (LGAT) programs. Prospective participants in The Forum, which has been classified as an LGAT, were compared with nonparticipating peers and with available normative samples on measures of well-being, negative life events, social support, and philosophical orientation. Results revealed that prospective participants were significantly more distressed than peer and normative samples of community residents and had a higher level of impact of recent negative life events compared with peer (but not normative) samples. Prospective participants also held preparticipation values more similar to those espoused by the LGAT than peer or normative samples, and the three groups failed to be distinguished by their levels of social support. The implications of the findings are considered for understanding participation in LGATs and other self-change promoting activities.