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Fam Syst Health. 2011 Mar;29(1):64-72. doi: 10.1037/a0023043.

Posttraumatic growth associated with a relative's serious illness.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Psychology Building,Athens, GA 30602, USA.


Posttraumatic growth (PTG) involves personal psychological growth in response to a traumatic or very stressful event. Using theoretical guidance from Tedeschi and Calhoun's cognitive model, this study evaluated the relationship between specific individual, distress, and stress-processing factors and PTG among young adults who experienced an illness-related trauma earlier in life through a relative's serious illness. Sixty individuals with a relative with a serious illness completed measures of PTG, posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS), anxiety, and coping. PTG was positively associated with trait anxiety, PTSS, and the use of active, problem-focused coping strategies. Factors associated with PTG development in individuals who have a relative with a chronic illness are similar to that of individuals who had a serious illness themselves. The relationship between PTSS and PTG is moderated by whether the relative's current illness status is resolved versus not resolved. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).

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