Posttraumatic Growth Following Trauma: Is Growth Accelerated or a Reflection of Cognitive Maturation?

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Abstract

Over the past two decades, there has been an exponential increase in studies investigating posttraumatic growth (PTG) in samples exposed to various traumatic experiences. The prevalence of PTG following trauma has been variable, and mixed findings have emerged pertaining to factors associated with PTG. To date, however, there has been a notable paucity of research that has considered the PTG phenomenon in relation to lifespan developmental, cognitive, and humanistic theories. The objective of this review is to evaluate the prominent theory of PTG proposed by Tedeschi and Calhoun (1996) in context of the theories of Erikson and Maslow, as well as Frankl's theory of meaning-making postadversity. Methodological issues are also considered to inform the advancement of future research in this field.

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