A Growth Perspective on Post-traumatic Stress

Elizabeth L. Addington*, Richard G. Tedeschi, Lawrence G. Calhoun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Trauma can be understood as a set of circumstances that not only produces immediate physiological challenges to the systems that help people deal with danger and survive, but also violate people's views of the world and their place in it. The concept of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as moral injury fits within a broader framework of understanding the impact of trauma as a disruptive cognitive and emotional experience. PTSD and post-traumatic growth (PTG) are not opposite ends of the same spectrum. PTSD is associated with poorer quality of life and less meaning in life, while PTG is associated with higher levels on these measures of well-being. A study of cardiovascular patients found that PTG buffered the harmful effects of PTSD on mental well-being. PTG occurs spontaneously in some, while in others it can result secondarily from trauma-focused therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Handbook of Positive Clinical Psychology
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781118468197
ISBN (Print)9781118468241
StatePublished - Apr 22 2016


  • Mental well-being
  • Post-traumatic growth
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Stress buffer
  • Trauma-focused treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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