This study intended to examine the roles of the controllability of the stressful life event and coping strategies on the stress-related personal growth in a Turkish sample. For this 127 undergraduate students reported details of a stressful event that they have recently encountered and rated the stressfulness of this event, following this and considering the stressful event that they bad reported, they completed the Ways of Coping Inventory and Stress-related Growth Scale. The stressful events were categorized into two groups as controllable (e.g. academic achievement anxiety and relationship problems with a friend) and uncontrollable (e.g. serious illness in the family and traffic accident). Consistent with the literature, results revealed that both problem-focused and emotion-focused coping strategies resulted in higher levels of stress-related growth. Furthermore, an interaction between emotion-focused coping and controllability of the event was observed, which indicated that particularly for the uncontrollable events, the use of emotion-focused coping led to more stress-related growth among Turkish participants. These findings and their culture-specific features were discussed in the light of relevant literature. Copyright (c) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.