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A double-edged sword: Event centrality, PTSD and posttraumatic growth



Previous research has demonstrated negative mental health consequences (including PTSD symptoms) of construing a potentially traumatic event as central to one's identity. In the current paper, we replicated an association between event centrality and PTSD symptoms. We also found event centrality similarly predicts posttraumatic growth (PTG) even after controlling for PTSD symptoms, depression, DSM-IV A1 and A2 status of the event, coping styles and cognitive processing of the event. Because predictive relationships between event centrality and PTSD symptoms, as well as event centrality and PTG were positive, construing an event as central to one's identity can indeed become a double-edged sword, allowing for both debilitation and growth. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.