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Positivity and Growth Following Stressful Life Events

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This study aimed to assess the extent to which psychosocial resources of dispositional optimism, sense of mastery, social support, and personal resourced of perceived health and economic status are associated with positive outcomes of stressful life events. The study also wanted to test the interrelations between psychosocial resources and perceived health and economic statuses. The hypotheses focused on perceived health status, economic status, dispositional optimism, would be positively related to sense of mastery and social support. The quantitative research design used was a non-experimental correlational design. The statistical analysis that was used was the IBM-SPSS program to conduct Pearson correlations to examine interrelations among resources and bivariate effects of resources on outcomes. Amos software was used to conduct path analyses and also calculate indirect effects using structural equation modeling. The population was 335 participants, both men and women mostly from Israel, who experienced a stressful life event between 1 to 24 months before completing the questionnaire. The findings of the study show that psychosocial resources lead to positivity and growth by preserving positive mental states that follow traumatic events.

Keshet, H., Foa, E.B., & Gilboa-Schechtman, E. (2019). Women’s self-perceptions in the aftermath of trauma: The role of trauma-centrality and trauma-type. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 11(5), 542-550.

This study sought to find a deeper understanding of the contribution of trauma-type and trauma-centrality to the impairment in self-perceptions that follow traumatic events. The authors believed that trauma-centrality was significantly related to impairments in self-perceptions and that sexual assault was related to greater damaged in self-perception compared with motor vehicle accidents and to unexpected deaths. The authors used a non-experimental correlational design for this study. A one-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs) was used to measure group differences in background and clinical characteristics followed by a Bonferroni post hoc analyses. Correlations between all variables of interest were computed which tested the trauma-centrality hypothesis. The trauma-type hypothesis was tested using four multiple regression analyses with self-perception measures as dependent variables. Participants in this study completed questionnaires using Qualtrics software that included a demographic questionnaire, resilience and intimacy self-evaluations, Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale, Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory, and Centrality of Event scale. The data from this study was collected from a sample of 289 adult American women via MTurk, an online labor market that recruits large samples. The findings of this study show that both trauma-centrality and trauma-type are related to impairments in self-perceptions following traumatic events.

Lenferink, L. I. M., Keijser J., Denderen, M. Y., & Boelen, P. A. (2019). Latent classes of posttraumatic stress symptoms in two samples of bereaved people. International Journal of Stress Management, 26(4), 401-410.

This study aimed to find what classes could be distinguished based on the validation of posttraumatic stress symptoms. The second aim of the study was to identify sociodemographic and loss-related factors that were associated with different classes. The authors of this study expected that they would be able to identify three distinct classes in both samples that represented individuals with no disturbance, intermediate disturbance, and pervasive disturbance of posttraumatic stress symptoms. The authors also expected that being a woman that was more recently bereaved, more closely related to the deceased individual, with a lower educational level were related to classes that were more pervasive in posttraumatic stress symptoms. The authors used a non-experimental correlational design and the statistical analysis used to examine heterogeneity in posttraumatic symptoms was latent class analysis (LCA). The LCA is a person-centered statistical technique that identifies specific homogenous subgroups of people based on their responses. Posttraumatic stress symptoms were assessed with the PTSD Symptom Scale – Self-Report. Participants were asked to rate to what extent they experienced 18 posttraumatic symptoms during the past month on scales that ranged from 0 to 3. The population in this study was a sample of 509 bereaved people that experienced losses due to a variety of causes and a sample of 331 homicidally bereaved people in order to identify their posttraumatic symptoms. The findings of this study showed that a woman that was recently bereaved, closely related to the deceased individual, and confronted with unexpected loss were related to more posttraumatic symptoms.

Orkibi, H., & Ram-Vlasov, N., (2019). Linking trauma to posttraumatic growth and mental health through emotional and cognitive creativity. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 13(4), 416-430.

The authors of this study sought to find if adverse life events could be related to positive outcomes. They also wondered if creativity could possibly play a role in the relationship between adverse life events and positive outcomes. The authors explored the explored the possibility that exposure to traumatic events could be associated with posttraumatic growth and mental health through creative outlets. The quantitative research design used a non-experimental correlational design. A bivariate correlation for all the variables were used and IBM’s AMOS 23 was used to test the theoretical model. Data was collected using pen and paper as well as internet-based software. The sample was 252 adults, ages 19-58 that were exposed to war as civilians. The results of this study showed that exposure to a larger number of traumatic events was related to higher self-efficacy scores, divergent thinking, and emotional creativity.

Unick, G. J., Bassuk, E. L., Richard M. K., & Paquette, K. (2019). Organizational trauma-informed care: Associations with individual and agency factors. Psychological Services, 16(1), 134-142.

This study focused on increasing the understanding of TIC implementation by examining the relationship between individual staff, agency characteristics, and level of organizational trauma-informed care using data from the development of the TICOMETER. The authors believed that agencies with less time since the last trauma training would have higher scores on the TICOMETER. The authors also hypothesized that agencies specializing in mental health and behavioral health services would show higher scores than other agency types. This study used a non-experimental correlational design and the statistical analysis used was data cleaning, data checks, univariate and bivariate analysis, and TICOMETER scoring that was conducted in Stata 15. The TICOMETER included five domains that were scored using a Graded Response Model with empirical Bayes means estimation of the latent dimensions with means fixed at 0 and SDs were freely estimated. The instrument used in this study was the TICOMETER, a five-domain measure of organizational trauma-informed care. Data was collected from 345 providers from 67 agencies. The results of this study showed weak relationships between individual factors and TICOMETER scores and but showed stronger associations for agency-level factors.

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