Exploring the Association Between Posttraumatic Growth and PTSD: A National Study of Jews and Arabs Following the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah War

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Posttraumatic growth (PTG)—deriving benefits following potentially traumatic events—has become a topic of increasing interest. We examined factors that were related to self-reported PTG, and the relationship between PTG and symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS) following the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah. Drawing from a national random sample of Israel, data from 806 terrorism-exposed Israeli adults were analyzed. PTG was associated with being female, lower education, greater recent terrorism exposure, greater loss of psychosocial resources, greater social support, and greater self-efficacy. PTG was a consistent predictor of PTS across hierarchical linear regression models that tested whether demographic, stress, or personal resources moderated the relationship between PTG and PTS. PTG did not relate to PTS differently for people who differed by age, sex, ethnicity, education, religiosity, degree of terrorism exposure, self-efficacy, nonterrorism stressful life events, and loss of psychosocial and economic resources. PTG was not related to well-being for any of these subgroups.

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