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Clin Psychol Rev. 2006 Sep;26(5):626-53. Epub 2006 Mar 3.

Posttraumatic growth in clinical psychology - a critical review and introduction of a two component model.

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Roseneck Hospital--Center for Psychosomatic Medicine, Am Roseneck 6, 83209 Prien, Germany.


Positive psychological or personal changes in the aftermath of trauma, defined as the result of the struggle with highly stressful events, have recently elicited heightened attention by trauma researchers. This article aims at summarizing the most important theoretical models and conceptualizations of posttraumatic growth (PTG) and addresses the issue of the adaptive significance of this phenomenon. It further renders a thorough empirical review of the relationship between PTG and psychological adjustment. European findings are specifically incorporated. As a conclusion, a two component cognitive model of PTG will be proposed that may explain the contradicting empirical findings in regard to the relationship between mental health and PTG. The Janus-Face model of PTG [Maercker, A. and Zoellner, T. (2004). The Janus face of self-perceived growth: Toward a two-component model of posttraumatic growth. Psychological Inquiry, 15, 41-48.] incorporates a constructive and an illusory aspect. On this basis, findings regarding relevant cognitive factors as predictors of PTG are summarized and evaluated. The article ends with a discussion of fruitful future research directions and how PTG can add a new perspective into trauma therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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