Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Posttraumatic Growth

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_979



Posttraumatic growth is the experience of positive change after a traumatic or negative life event. It is theorized to be the positive or adaptive outcome of a meaning-making process in which individuals are forced into a reevaluation process of their worldviews after experiencing a negative or life-changing event. Through this reevaluation process, some individuals may develop a more coherent understanding of themselves and the world. Common examples of growth after trauma include changes in life values, improved relationships with family and/or friends, growth in spiritual beliefs, and increased personal strength, empathy, or patience.


The concept of growth from adversity is an ancient concept based in many religions and philosophical systems. However, it has been a formal focus of investigation in psychology only in the past few decades, coinciding with the...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Texas, Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA