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Posttraumatic growth in students, crime survivors and trauma workers exposed to adversity

Brooks, M and Lowe, M and Graham-Kevan, N and Robinson, S (2016) Posttraumatic growth in students, crime survivors and trauma workers exposed to adversity. Personality and Individual Differences, 98. pp. 199-207. ISSN 0191-8869

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Abstract

Generalised models of positive change following adversity do not fully account for differences in adjustment among populations who experience posttraumatic growth (PTG). The contributions of event intentionality, frequency of the adversity types, age at serious event, spirituality/religiousness, active coping, PTSD symptoms and social support were explored as predictors of PTG across three samples of university students (N = 101; Study 1), survivors of violent crime recruited from support services (N = 71; Study 2) and those working with survivors of adversity (N = 96; Study 3). The results of Study 1 revealed that age at serious event, active coping, PTSD symptoms and social support positively predicted PTG. Within Study 2, spirituality/religiousness, active coping and social support were the significant positive predictors of PTG. Finally in Study 3, spirituality/religiousness, active coping and social support were the significant positive predictors of PTG. Across all studies, event intentionality and frequency of adversity types did not determine PTG. These results indicate that while participants within each of the populations have the ability to experience PTG, different factors predicted whether PTG was observed. The findings offer greater insight into the multifarious nature of adjustment following adversity.

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