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Psychol Health. 2011 Mar;26(3):353-69. doi: 10.1080/08870440903440699.

That which doesn't kill us can make us stronger (and more satisfied with life): the contribution of personal and social changes to well-being after acquired brain injury.

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School of Psychology, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.


This study examined the roles of personal and social changes on the relationship between injury severity and life satisfaction among individuals with acquired brain injury (ABI). Personal change (i.e. having developed a survivor identity, identity strength), social changes (i.e. improved social relationships, support from services), injury severity (i.e. length of time in coma) and well-being (i.e. life satisfaction) were assessed in a sample of 630 individuals with ABIs. A counterintuitive positive relationship was found between injury severity and life satisfaction. Bootstrapping analyses indicated that this relationship was mediated by personal and social changes. Although identity strength was the strongest individual mediator, both personal and social changes each explained unique variance in this relationship. These findings suggest that strategies that strengthen personal identity and social relationships may be beneficial for individuals recovering from ABIs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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