Stress-related growth: pre-intervention correlates and change following a resilience intervention

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Abstract

Correlates of stress-related growth and the effectiveness of a resilience intervention to enhance stress-related growth were examined. College students were randomly assigned to intervention (n = 31) and waiting list control (n = 33) groups. The intervention group received the psychoeducational intervention, Transforming Lives Through Resilience Education, in four weekly 2-hour sessions. Measures of personal, environmental and stressor characteristics, coping strategies, adjustment and stress-related growth were assessed. Multiple regressions revealed that pre-intervention self-esteem, self-leadership, hopeful coping and depressive symptoms significantly related to pre-intervention growth. A repeated measures analysis of variance yielded a significant group by time interaction for total growth; the intervention group showed greater increases in growth pre- to post-intervention compared with the control group. Our results supported the relationships of self-esteem and adaptive coping strategies to stress-related growth and introduce a new correlate of growth, self-leadership, to the literature. In addition, our results highlighted the complex role depressive symptoms may play in relation to growth, indicating that depressive symptoms might decrease one's inner resources while simultaneously serving as a catalyst for growth. Further, the findings supported the resilience intervention as a promising approach to facilitate growth. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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