Posttraumatic growth in adolescence: Examining its components and relationship with PTSD

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Abstract

To address gaps in the literature, this study examined the components of posttraumatic growth, and the relationship between growth and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Participants were from a pooled sample of 4,054 Israeli adolescents exposed to terror of whom 210 (5.5%) met criteria for PTSD. Measures included the Child Post-Traumatic Stress Reaction Index and Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. Principal components analysis showed two correlated components of outward and intrapersonal growth. Regression modeling showed that the relationship between the growth and PTSD measures was linear and curvilinear (inverted-U). These results replicated accounting for heterogeneity in PTSD, exposure and subsamples. Collectively, the results imply that posttraumatic growth in adolescence is characterized by two robust components, and is greatest at moderate posttraumatic stress levels.

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