Posttraumatic Growth in a Non-Clinical Sample of College and Graduate Students

Leah R Younger, Pace University


Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) represents growth in the aftermath of an extremely stressful event beyond one's previous level of adaptation, psychological functioning, or life awareness (Zoeliner & Maercker, 2006). The idea of personal growth found in suffering is explored from early philosophical roots; through existential psychological theory and preventative psychiatry; to modern day empirical research on PTG theory, process, assessment, correlates, and clinical application. Through administration of surveys to college and graduate students, the current research explored the various mediating, moderating, and predictive relationships between PIG and related variables of demographic information, personality characteristics, and religion and spirituality_ Contrary to what was hypothesized, results of the statistical analyses did not indicate a significant gender difference in overall, or domain-specific, PTG. Of all the personality variables, only extraversion and optimism significantly correlated with PTG, and pessimism was found to indirectly affect the likelihood of PTG. Religiousness alone significantly inversely predicted PTG, whereas spirituality alone, or combined religiosity and spirituality, did not significantly predict PTG. These results have theoretical and practical implications relevant to researchers and clinicians alike.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Younger, Leah R, "Posttraumatic Growth in a Non-Clinical Sample of College and Graduate Students" (2014). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3581352.



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