Posttraumatic growth

A pathway to resilience

Authored by: Richard G. Tedeschi , Cara L. Blevins

The Routledge International Handbook of Psychosocial Resilience

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138954878
eBook ISBN: 9781315666716
Adobe ISBN: 9781317355946

10.4324/9781315666716.ch26

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Abstract

The experience of suffering is ubiquitous. While the parameters of what constitutes a traumatic experience are broad, reviews of large-scale, population-based studies consistently indicate that most, if not all, individuals will experience at least one tragedy, significant loss, or catastrophe in their lifetime (Bonanno, Westphal, & Mancini, 2012; Calhoun & Tedeschi, 1999). These events may be severe enough to meet criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (American Psychological Association, 2013) for a psychological trauma (e.g. an event that threatens or causes serious personal harm, injury, or death), or they may be sufficiently upsetting without meeting clinical thresholds of official diagnoses. Regardless, highly stressful events or major life tragedies have the potential to result in a variety of negative outcomes including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, isolation, and an increased risk of chronic disease and illness (Ramos & Leal, 2013; Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004).

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