chapter  5
26 Pages

The Context for Posttraumatic Growth: Life Crises, Individual and Social Resources, and Coping

Common crises such as physical illness, bereavement, and divorce, and dramatic events such as natural disasters and war each shape the lives of the people they touch in unique and lasting ways. Most of the growing body of research on traumatic events and peoples’ adaptation to them emphasizes the painful emotions and physical and psychological symptoms that these events typically produce, at least in the short run (Bromet & Dew, 1995; Rubonis & Bickman, 1991). But, in the aftermath of adversity, people often show tenacious resilience and eventually experience personal growth. For many people, life crises are the catalyst for enhanced personal and social resources and the development of new coping skills.