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Abstract

The Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program, currently under development for the U.S. Army, will include a component designed to increase the possibilities for posttraumatic growth in the aftermath of combat. In this article, we briefly review studies that provide evidence for this phenomenon in combat veterans, and we suggest elements that such a program might include to facilitate posttraumatic growth. We urge the Army to conduct randomized controlled trials testing the efficacy of the program prior to its implementation.
Can We Facilitate Posttraumatic Growth
in Combat Veterans?
Richard G. Tedeschi University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Richard J. McNally Harvard University
The Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program, currently
under development for the U.S. Army, will include a com-
ponent designed to increase the possibilities for posttrau-
matic growth in the aftermath of combat. In this article, we
briefly review studies that provide evidence for this phe-
nomenon in combat veterans, and we suggest elements that
such a program might include to facilitate posttraumatic
growth. We urge the Army to conduct randomized con-
trolled trials testing the efficacy of the program prior to its
implementation.
Keywords: posttraumatic growth, combat trauma, Compre-
hensive Soldier Fitness
The concept of resilience has received a great deal of
attention since the groundbreaking work of Rutter
(1987) and others (e.g., Bonanno, 2004; Luther, Cic-
chetti, & Becker, 2000; Masten, 2001; Werner, 1989).
Strengthening this ability to resist or to bounce back from
adversity is a key aim of the Comprehensive Soldier Fit-
ness program. However, rapidly returning to baseline func-
tioning is not the only positive outcome following exposure
to trauma. Some trauma survivors report posttraumatic
growth: positive personal changes that result from their
struggle to deal with trauma and its psychological conse-
quences. Tedeschi and Calhoun (1995) coined the term
only relatively recently, but the idea that tragedy and suf-
fering can trigger personal transformation is ancient, oc-
curring in the major religions of the world, Greek tragedy,
and other literatures. Although psychologists (Caplan,
1964; Dohrenwend & Dohrenwend, 1978; Maslow, 1954)
and psychiatrists (Frankl, 1963; Yalom, 1980) have dis-
cussed how struggles with adversity can foster psycholog-
ical growth, systematic empirical work on the phenomenon
was rare until the 1990s. The development of the Posttrau-
matic Growth Inventory (PTGI; Tedeschi & Calhoun,
1996) has allowed researchers to assess five domains of
growth that trauma survivors may report: renewed appre-
ciation of life, new possibilities, enhanced personal
strength, improved relationships with others, and spiritual
change (Taku, Cann, Calhoun, & Tedeschi, 2008). People
have reported these changes following many types of trau-
mas, including life-threatening illnesses (Hefferon, Grealy,
& Mutrie, 2009; Stanton, Bower, & Low, 2006), bereave-
ment (Cadell & Sullivan, 2006; Znoj, 2006), and war
(Lev-Wiesel & Amir, 2006; Rosner & Powell, 2006). Also,
researchers have studied the related phenomena of benefit
finding (Hefferon et al., 2009; Lechner & Weaver, 2009)
and stress-related growth (Park & Fenster, 2004) in survi-
vors of trauma.
In this article, we provide a brief overview of a model
of posttraumatic growth, furnish examples of the phenom-
enon in combat veterans, and describe the development of
a strategy to promote posttraumatic growth in the aftermath
of combat. Finally, we discuss caveats and unresolved
issues concerning the prospects of fostering posttraumatic
growth in military personnel.
A Model of Posttraumatic Growth
Janoff-Bulman’s (1992) work on the cognitive and emo-
tional processes that mediate the rebuilding of trauma sur-
vivors’ shattered assumptions of their world has inspired
work on posttraumatic growth. She proposed three kinds of
posttraumatic growth processes: strength through suffering,
existential reevaluation, and psychological preparedness
(Janoff-Bulman, 2006). The latter emphasizes the strength
of the rebuilt assumptive world to withstand future shocks
to the system, akin to how communities rebuild in the
aftermath of earthquakes (Calhoun & Tedeschi, 1998).
Using Janoff-Bulman’s conceptualization as a starting
point, Tedeschi and Calhoun (1995) formulated an evolv-
ing model of posttraumatic growth (Calhoun & Tedeschi,
1998, 2006; Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004). The most recent
version describes how several variables increase the pos-
sibility of psychological growth in the aftermath of trauma
(Calhoun, Cann, & Tedeschi, 2010). These variables in-
clude (a) cognitive processing, engagement, or rumination;
(b) disclosure of concerns surrounding traumatic events; (c)
the reactions of others to self-disclosures; (d) the sociocul-
tural context in which traumas occur and attempts to pro-
cess, disclose, and resolve trauma; (e) the personal dispo-
sitions of the survivor and the degree to which they are
resilient; and (f) the degree to which events either permit or
suppress the aforementioned processes. The model also
addresses how posttraumatic growth may relate to wisdom,
life satisfaction, and a sense of purpose in life.
Richard G. Tedeschi, Department of Psychology, University of North
Carolina at Charlotte; Richard J. McNally, Department of Psychology,
Harvard University.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Rich-
ard G. Tedeschi, Department of Psychology, University of North Caro-
lina, Charlotte, NC 28223. E-mail: rtedesch@uncc.edu
19January 2011 American Psychologist
© 2011 American Psychological Association 0003-066X/11/$12.00
Vol. 66, No. 1, 19–24 DOI: 10.1037/a0021896
Misunderstandings About
Posttraumatic Growth
Because some scholars have occasionally misunderstood
work on posttraumatic growth, we clarify certain points
subject to misunderstanding (see Aspinwall & Tedeschi,
2010; Tedeschi, Calhoun, & Cann, 2007). First, posttrau-
matic growth theorists do not celebrate trauma itself but
instead stress that trauma may set the stage for beneficial
psychological changes that occur in its aftermath. Second,
these theorists do not intend to encourage the expectation
that trauma survivors must achieve growth, nor do they
wish to inflate expectations about how common or pro-
nounced growth may be among survivors, some of whom
may experience shame when posttraumatic growth does not
occur (Wortman, 2004). Third, highly resilient people may
experience less posttraumatic growth than less resilient
people do (Levine, Laufer, Stein, Hamama-Raz, & So-
lomon, 2009). Because of their strong coping skills, the
former group is less likely to struggle with the psycholog-
ical consequences of trauma and hence to experience as
many opportunities to change. Indeed, resilience and post-
traumatic growth are distinct, and if we track people who
report growth over time, we may see them becoming more
resilient. Fourth, some scholars have wondered whether
self-reports of posttraumatic growth are genuine or whether
they signify denial of distress or self-deception (Bonanno,
2004; Hobfoll et al., 2007; Tennen & Affleck, 2009). It
appears that different individuals exhibit different trajecto-
ries of growth and that the degree to which posttraumatic
growth is palliative, providing comfort in the face of
trauma, versus constructive, generating personal growth
or transformation, may change over time (Zoellner &
Maercker, 2006). Furthermore, trauma survivors who re-
port growth often report symptoms of posttraumatic stress
disorder (PTSD) too. The correlation between growth and
symptom severity is inconsistent with the claim that reports
of growth signify denial of one’s suffering (Baker, Kelly,
Calhoun, Cann, & Tedeschi, 2008). Moreover, researchers
have corroborated reports of posttraumatic growth (Park,
Cohen, & Murch, 1996; Shakespeare-Finch & Enders,
2008; Weiss, 2002). However, for some trauma survivors,
a palliative period of posttraumatic growth having illusory
elements may precede a subsequent period of constructive
and transformative growth (Zoellner & Maercker, 2006).
Evidence for Posttraumatic Growth
After Combat
Traumatologists working with war veterans have focused
chiefly on the assessment and treatment of psychiatric
symptoms arising in the wake of trauma, mainly PTSD. Yet
despite this emphasis, they have occasionally detected ev-
idence of posttraumatic growth in combat veterans, includ-
ing former prisoners of war (POWs). For example, among
aviators shot down, imprisoned, and tortured for years by
the North Vietnamese, 61.1% said that they had benefited
psychologically from their ordeal (Sledge, Boydstun, &
Rabe, 1980). They reported that imprisonment had pro-
duced favorable changes in their personalities, increasing
their self-confidence and teaching them to value the truly
important things in life. Strikingly, the more severe their
treatment, the more likely the former POWs were to report
posttraumatic growth. The authors concluded “that a sub-
stantial subgroup of POWs perceive their war-imprison-
ment experience as subjectively beneficial” (Sledge et al.,
1980, pp. 442– 443). Using data from the National Vietnam
Veterans Readjustment Study (Kulka et al., 1990), Dohren-
wend et al. (2004) found that 70.1% of male veterans
regarded their experience in Vietnam as mainly positive.
Importantly, they found no convincing evidence that such
positive appraisals reflected “pathological defensive de-
nial” (p. 431). They interpreted these data as consistent
with successful adaptation to war zone experience and
thereafter.
Recent scholarship on war veterans has involved di-
rect measurement of posttraumatic growth. Using the
PTGI, Feder and her colleagues assessed 30 aviators who
had been POWs of the North Vietnamese (Feder et al.,
2008). Nearly two thirds of these men endorsed at least
moderate posttraumatic growth (PTGI total score 60),
and slightly over one third reported a great or very great
degree of posttraumatic growth (PTGI total score 80).
The PTGI factors Personal Strength and Appreciation for
Life exhibited the most pronounced effect. Posttraumatic
growth did not differ between former POWs with and
without psychopathology once Feder et al. controlled for
duration of captivity. Dispositional optimism and duration
of captivity were positively correlated with posttraumatic
growth.
Israeli researchers have examined posttraumatic
growth among combat veterans of the 1973 Yom Kippur
War who either had or had not been POWs (Solomon &
Richard G.
Tedeschi
20 January 2011 American Psychologist
Dekel, 2007). Also using the PTGI, they found that the
former POWs had higher levels of PTSD symptoms and
posttraumatic growth than did combat veterans who had
never been captured by the enemy. The severity of PTSD
symptoms positively correlated with the degree of posttrau-
matic growth. The investigators also found evidence of a
quadratic effect in which the magnitude of posttraumatic
growth was especially pronounced for those with moder-
ately severe PTSD symptoms.
Maguen, Vogt, King, King, and Litz (2006) adminis-
tered the PTGI to veterans of the Persian Gulf War. They
found that perceived threat while in the war zone was the
strongest predictor of scores on the Appreciation for Life
factor. Postdeployment social support best predicted scores
on the Personal Strength and Relating to Others factors and
on the PTGI total score. Exposure to combat and other
direct warfare events (e.g., witnessing the dead and
wounded), however, was unrelated to posttraumatic
growth.
How Can We Promote Posttraumatic
Growth?
The psychotherapy literature provides guidelines for fos-
tering posttraumatic growth (Calhoun & Tedeschi, 1999,
2000; Meichenbaum, 2006; Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2006;
Zoellner & Maercker, 2006). These approaches combine
elements of cognitive, existential, humanistic, and narrative
approaches to change. Tedeschi and Calhoun (2006) de-
scribed a model of “expert companionship” that focuses on
the constancy of the companion, humility, respect for the
survivor’s narrative and perspective, and a highlighting of
strength and change. Zoellner and Maercker (2006) pointed
out that posttraumatic growth largely involves uninten-
tional change but that psychotherapy can nurture such
change through cognitive processing, support of attempts at
mastery of new experiences, and enhancing relationships.
Meichenbaum (2006) emphasized the importance of a re-
structuring of the life narrative in posttraumatic growth,
noting how storytelling is central to this endeavor. How can
this be translated into a large-scale, very brief, predomi-
nantly psychoeducational approach that includes a pre-
trauma, preventive element? We are in uncharted territory
in designing such interventions, but the theoretical and
empirical basis for posttraumatic growth provides a useful
starting point. In developing these interventions, we must
also keep in mind that there are differences between some
civilian traumas and combat experiences. Warriors may
experience prolonged or repeated traumas, often within a
supportive, cohesive group (if the unit is functioning well).
The development of a common narrative among members
of the unit may enhance the process of posttraumatic
growth.
Elements of a Posttraumatic Growth
Enhancement Strategy
Most work on posttraumatic growth concerns people who
have already experienced major stressors. However, the
clinical literature is not the only source of insights relevant
to the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program. For exam-
ple, nonclinical areas of psychology, especially affective
science, are providing a rich source of preventive interven-
tions (Algoe & Fredrickson, 2011, this issue). Indeed, as
Casey (2011, this issue) emphasizes, the purpose of the
Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program is to provide skills
training to foster resilience prior to deployment. Just as the
military has emphasized training in physical fitness, it now
aims to emphasize training in psychological and emotional
fitness. Attainment of this objective should provide the
foundation for posttraumatic growth following a soldier’s
exposure to traumatic stressors.
At this writing, the posttraumatic growth component
of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program is in pre-
liminary development. The particulars of how it will be
implemented, and by whom, are under discussion. How-
ever, certain elements will likely be central to the program.
These elements are closely connected with the process of
posttraumatic growth outlined by Calhoun et al. (2010).
Part 1: Understanding Trauma Response as
a Precursor to Posttraumatic Growth
Before warriors can grasp the concept of posttraumatic
growth, it would be useful for them to understand how the
negative aspects of posttrauma experience, especially shat-
tered beliefs about one’s self, others, and the future, form
the foundation for later posttraumatic growth. Combat vet-
erans should also be taught that basic physiological and
psychological responses are normal reactions to the expe-
rience of combat. Such reactions do not indicate a defect in
one’s character or identity as a soldier.
Part 2: Emotional Regulation Enhancement
Basic methods of anxiety reduction and control of intrusive
thoughts and images set the stage for more constructive
Richard J.
McNally
21January 2011 American Psychologist
processes of evaluating the traumatic events and their af-
termath. Specific elements in this part of training include
ways to manage dysregulated sympathetic nervous system
responses and intrusive thinking in order to encourage
reflective rumination in contrast to brooding. Connections
to the skills emphasized in the emotional fitness component
(Algoe & Fredrickson, 2011, this issue) of the Comprehen-
sive Soldier Fitness program are especially useful here.
Part 3: Constructive Self-Disclosure
Through constructive self-disclosure, warriors can begin to
receive emotional support, develop a coherent trauma nar-
rative, and find models for healthy trauma response and
posttraumatic growth. Specific elements in this part of
training include encouraging various ways for the warrior
to begin to tell the story of the trauma, but especially the
experience of the aftermath of trauma, using metaphors and
mottos to convey otherwise complex matters, and learning
how to use social connections and establish new ones upon
discharge. This will involve putting into practice skills
learned in the social fitness component of the Comprehen-
sive Soldier Fitness program (Cacioppo, Reis & Zautra,
2011, this issue). Connection to “family” will include not
only the soldiers’ immediate families as emphasized in the
family fitness component (Gottman, Gottman & Atkins,
2011, this issue) but also fellow comrades and deceased
buddies whose memory warriors can honor, as Klass, Sil-
verman, and Nickman (1996) described in work on “con-
tinuing bonds” among the bereaved.
Part 4: Creating a Trauma Narrative With
Posttraumatic Growth Domains
Trauma may require soldiers to reconfigure shattered belief
systems, disengage from unreachable goals, and revise
their life narratives. This process can include aspects of
posttraumatic growth domains that can provide new goals
and processes of living.
Specific elements in this part of training include (a)
organizing the story of trauma into a coherent narrative
with the trauma as a catalyst, fulcrum, or turning point;
(b) enhancing the ability to engage in dialectical think-
ing and appreciate paradox (e.g., seeing how loss and
gain are not mutually exclusive, how the aftermath of
traumatic events may require support from others yet at
the same time individual strength, how one has some
control but must also accept the lack of control, how
grief can coincide with gratitude, and vulnerability with
strength); (c) introducing the kinds of changes that may
become evident by referring to the five domains of
posttraumatic growth—Personal Strength, Enhanced Re-
lationships with Others, Spiritual Change, Appreciation
of Life, and New Opportunities—so that there is a con-
ceptual scaffolding on which to build a story of the gains
in the aftermath of trauma; and (d) introducing the
stories of others who referred to posttraumatic growth to
illustrate the possibility of change.
Part 5: Developing Life Principles That Are
Robust to Challenges
Posttraumatic growth can enable people to develop ways of
thinking and guides for action to meet future demands and
challenges, enhancing resilience. Combat can be a life-
transforming experience, and moving toward a level of
functioning better than one’s pretraumatic level should be
viewed as a process rather than a static goal. Specific
training elements include (a) finding ways to be altruistic,
valuing the learning that has occurred in the aftermath of
the trauma and how it creates new pathways and opportu-
nities; (b) accepting growth without guilt as benefiting not
only the trauma survivor but others as well (honoring
deceased comrades can mitigate the soldier’s guilt about
surviving); (c) accepting and creating a changed social
identity as a trauma survivor, or a compassionate person, or
a wise person, somewhat separate from others who have
not gone through such an experience but more closely
connected to the human condition; (d) considering the
ancient Greek and Roman concept of the hero as an ordi-
nary person who experiences an extraordinary event, sur-
vives it, and returns to the everyday world to express an
important truth about life. These enhanced life principles
may involve spiritual aspects as considered by Pargament
and Sweeney (2011, this issue) in the spiritual fitness
component of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program.
Caveats and Conclusion
As we noted earlier, the posttraumatic growth component
of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program is under
development. Key questions remain unanswered. First, it is
unclear whether training occurring before, during, or after
deployment can foster posttraumatic growth among mili-
tary personnel. Whether mental health professionals or
fellow warriors working with military personnel exposed to
combat can do things that encourage growth is unknown.
Second, although researchers have developed good self-
report measures of posttraumatic growth, these measures
may depend on baseline levels of resilience, and those
warriors highest in resilience may show little change.
Third, the interventions designed for the Comprehensive
Soldier Fitness program for fostering posttraumatic growth
should be subjected to careful empirical test. A superb
example of such a test is the randomized clinical trial
approach in the Army’s evaluation of its Battlemind early
intervention program for reducing posttraumatic psycho-
logical problems (Adler, Bliese, McGurk, Hoge, & Castro,
2009). For example, military psychologists could randomly
assign units (e.g., companies, battalions) either to receive
or not receive a posttraumatic growth program. Both
groups could be assessed with the PTGI before and after
deployment. The army owes it to its warriors to evaluate
any program properly prior to delivering it to the troops.
Programs that seem entirely sensible on theoretical
grounds, such as psychological debriefing following expo-
sure to trauma, wound up either having no discernible
positive benefit or impeding recovery from the effects of
trauma (for a review, see McNally, Bryant, & Ehlers,
22 January 2011 American Psychologist
2003). One might worry about randomly assigning soldiers
to a control group, thereby depriving them of a potentially
beneficial resilience intervention. Yet such ethical concerns
presuppose that the program does work, and only con-
trolled research can demonstrate whether this is so. Ethical
concerns arise if soldiers are deprived of demonstrably
efficacious programs. In fact, plans are in place to evaluate
the entire Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program. Inves-
tigators will compare brigades that receive it with brigades
that have yet to receive it (Lester, McBride, Bliese, and
Adler, 2011, this issue). The latter groups form a wait-list
control condition.
The relationship of a posttraumatic growth component
to other components of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness
program is fairly obvious. Skills in emotional, social, and
spiritual fitness can serve to enhance the possibility of
growth. Strong family relationships can support posttrau-
matic growth, and family members of military personnel
have reported posttraumatic growth themselves (Dekel,
2007). Posttraumatic growth concepts may be integrated
into these training components and also be a capstone to the
program. The ultimate values of fitness for soldiers are
possibilities for personal transformation, resilience in the
face of future stressors in the military and in civilian life,
and the ability to respond to other survivors of combat and
other traumas with the wise perspective of a trauma survi-
vor who has experienced posttraumatic growth and mas-
tered the skills of expert companionship.
Implementing a program based on the elements de-
scribed above for the military is a daunting task. Certain
aspects are most relevant early in a soldier’s training,
whereas others are most relevant postdeployment. Through-
out the process, however, a crucial message can be sent:
PTSD is not the inevitable outcome of combat, and even if
it is present, there are other aspects of posttrauma living
that are of great value. With some prior understanding of
this possibility, warriors may be better equipped to benefit
from additional help postdeployment that emphasizes
growth outcomes. Having this information may also allow
warriors to be better expert companions for their comrades
who are dealing with the aftermath of combat.
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24 January 2011 American Psychologist
... The TAPS Suicide Postvention Model dovetails with the PTG Facilitation Program proposed by Tedeschi and McNally (2011). The PTG Facilitation Program includes five distinct phases: psychoeducation, management of distress, constructive selfdisclosure, coherent life narrative development, and articulation of revised or new principles by which to live their life, buffer against future events, and provide meaning and purpose (Tedeschi and McNally, 2011, p. 147-148). ...
... Knowing that growth after traumatic loss is possible provides hope to the individual who has experienced the loss, but also gives them tools for rebuilding their lives by giving them a real understanding of how they have been changed as a result of this trauma. Facilitating posttraumatic growth is becoming an important therapeutic approach that both professionals and organizations serving those who have experienced traumatic loss may employ (Tedeschi and McNally, 2011;Calhoun and Tedeschi, 2013). As TAPS appears to foster this kind of growth in bereaved military families, it provides a perfect venue to learn how some families who have been through the worst are able to come out of this traumatic life experience in a way that their lives are forever changed, but more resilient and robust than they might have otherwise been. ...
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We examined posttraumatic growth for 691 participants of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). Peer mentors of bereaved individuals experienced greater posttraumatic growth (PTG) and reported higher psychological health than those who were non-peer mentors. Active involvement in TAPS and resilience consistently and positively predicted all types of PTG. These prediction models were far stronger (R ² , AIC) for the suicide-bereaved sample than those bereaved by other causes, and post-hoc analyses suggest suicide-bereaved benefitted more than those bereaved by other causes from active participation in TAPS.
... Individuals who experience PTG not only exhibit a positive self-concept, discover personal strengths, and perceive positive interpersonal interactions, but are also grateful for their present lives (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1996). Such positive changes are pivotal factors that enable an individual to prosper beyond simply recovering from a traumatic event (Tedeschi & McNally, 2011). In particular, providing active support to soldiers who have been involved in a traumatic event to promote their psychological growth and stable readjustment to military life, as opposed to being discharged, not only enhances their quality of life, but also increases combat power, and thus tremendously enhances national security (Larner & Blow, 2011;Tedeschi & McNally, 2011). ...
... Such positive changes are pivotal factors that enable an individual to prosper beyond simply recovering from a traumatic event (Tedeschi & McNally, 2011). In particular, providing active support to soldiers who have been involved in a traumatic event to promote their psychological growth and stable readjustment to military life, as opposed to being discharged, not only enhances their quality of life, but also increases combat power, and thus tremendously enhances national security (Larner & Blow, 2011;Tedeschi & McNally, 2011). Therefore, thoroughly examining the psychological mechanism through which a traumatic experience leads to negative symptoms and positive growth, and providing effective interventions are essential in promoting the psychological health of soldiers. ...
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Past studies on calling have primarily focused on the positive aspects of calling, but there have been voices pointing to the potential adverse impact of calling on mental health. This study examined the mediating effect of cognitive emotion regulation strategies, comprising adaptive and maladaptive emotion regulation strategy, to elucidate the two-sided effects of calling on trauma-related mental health. Participants were 268 Air Force pilots in the Republic of Korea who provided self-report data two times at a one-month interval. The results confirmed that calling had positive effects on both adaptive and maladaptive emotion regulation. Additionally, adaptive emotion regulation positively predicted posttraumatic growth, and maladaptive emotion regulation positively predicted posttraumatic stress disorder. Further, the link between calling and posttraumatic growth was partially mediated by adaptive emotion regulation, while that between calling and posttraumatic stress disorder was fully mediated by maladaptive emotion regulation. Hence, this study has empirically verified previous findings pertaining to the two-sided effects of calling on psychological health. Based on these results, we discuss the theoretical implications, practical implications, and some directions for further studies.
... Moreover, while one study has documented the moderating role of distress tolerance (DT) in the link between veterans' siblings PTSS and their SPTG (Zerach, 2020), the present study aims to use a dyadic approach to assess the relationship associations between veterans' PTSS and parents' SPTSS and their PTG/SPTG, as well as the role of DT in these associations. As SPTG might coexist with secondary PTSS (Martz et al., 2018), it is important to examine how SPTG might be facilitated since it could aid in both the struggle of veterans and parents with combat residues (Tedeschi & McNally, 2011). ...
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Objective: Indirect exposure to traumatized combat veterans may facilitate positive transformations in the form of posttraumatic growth (PTG) among family members. We aimed to use a dyadic approach to explore the association between veterans' and parents' posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and their PTG and that of their parents' secondary PTG (SPTG), as well as to examine the moderating role of distress tolerance (DT) in these associations. Method: A volunteer sample of 102 dyads of Israeli combat veterans and their parents responded to online validated self-report questionnaires. Results: Veterans' PTG was positively correlated with parents' SPTG. Moreover, parents' secondary PTSS was associated with higher levels of their own SPTG and their veteran offspring's PTG. Furthermore, veterans' DT contributed to lower levels of their own PTSS and their PTG, but the moderation effects of DT were not found. Conclusions: Parents' experience of secondary PTSS, which refers to their offspring's military service, may be also associated with their offspring higher levels of PTG. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
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This chapter explores the way the concept of resilience is used in the US Marines in the twenty-first century. ‘Resilience’ valorizes character, choice, and Marine Corps values, rather than technology, medical developments, or belief in a higher mission. The Corps adopted ‘positive psychology’ deployed in the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program and Operational Stress Control and Readiness. These initiatives created tensions because of difference between macro-policies and micro-implementations as well as the coexistence of two different approaches (the physiological-social and emotional-social model). The chapter turns to responses to ‘bad events’ where attempts were made to distinguish distress of combat from avoidable traumas. The chapter concludes by addressing some of the larger political and ideological consequences of ‘resilience’.KeywordsResilienceMarine CorpsCSFOSCARMilitary trainingPTSD
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