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Abstract

Recent trauma literature has supported a philosophical shift from a pathogenic to a salutogenic paradigm in which the focus is on positive, as well as negative, posttrauma changes; however, empirical knowledge exploring the different domains of positive change or posttraumatic growth (PTG) is scarce. The present study investigated the multidimensionality of PTG in Australian undergraduate students (N=219). Results indicated five factors for the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory, and moderate levels of PTG. Trauma severity was found to significantly predict PTG in addition to a positive correlation between PTG and negative posttrauma effects. While not negating negative effects of traumatic experiences, this area of traumatology research has important implications for redefining the “victims” of trauma as individuals capable of positive change rather than merely surviving.