Laura Blackie received her Ph. K in January Her research interests are in the area of existential psychology, broadly focusing on what can motivate an individual to engage in intrinsically meaningful and authentic behavior that is specific and relevant to their needs, values, and character. Her research on this topic led to a recent publication in Psychological Science that demonstrated increased prosocial behavior as a function of specific and individuated mortality awareness. Her research has recently been cited in the Huffington Post, and Scientific American.
The present study aims to explore the relationship between trait resilience and three virtues based on a sample with personal trauma in one year and on self-reported PTSD and PTG. These findings indicated that virtues and trait resilience were conceptually related but functionally different constructs. Trait resilience and virtues were positively related and contributed variances to PTG in the context of trauma; however, trait resilience manifested after the virtues were controlled when individuals were diagnosed as PTSD.
The current traumatic sample experienced a wide range of different traumatic experiences, such as natural disaster, physical assault, transportation accident, and sudden, unexpected deaths of a close relative or individual. Previous studies revealed that the increased frequencies of traumas lead to increased risks of PTSD symptoms [ 44 ]; likewise, the present study reveals the positive relations between the frequency of trauma and the severity of PTSD symptoms. Hagenaars, Fisch [ 45 ] indicated that multiple trauma individuals among a clinical sample usually report more dissociation, guilt, and interpersonal sensitivity than those who only experienced single trauma.
However, these associations are not observed after PTSD severity is controlled [ 45 ]. These findings suggested that differences between clinical [ 45 ] and non-clinical e. Time point is also a factor that may affect such a relationship. Ogle, Rubin [ 46 ] found that events with similar greater frequency that occur early in life can yield more severe PTSD symptoms compared with those that occur later in life.
Thus, frequency, time, and type of events should be carefully considered in future trauma-related studies. In this study, a high level of trait resilience and three virtues were positively associated with PTG but negatively and not significantly associated with PTSD. Trait resilience and system of virtues share many common personality characteristics hopeful, optimistic, and self-reliant.
Thus, trait resilience is positively related to virtues; this finding is consistent with that in previous studies [ 46 ]. For instance, kindness and love are theoretically related strengths of improved relationships with other individuals; religiousness is the related strength of spiritual development. The authors proposed that strengths are possibly enhanced after individuals experience traumatic events [ 47 ]. These findings may be due to measurement overlap. On the basis of these findings and reasons, a person may think that the boundary between virtues and PTG remains unclear and conceptually overlapping.
As such, we recommend that the approach of distinguishing between trait resilience and PTG should be applied to respond to trauma; therefore, virtues as positive traits are manifested before, during, and after traumatic events occur, whereas PTG as a mode of adjustment to trauma is exhibited only after traumatic events occur.
The present study further indicates that virtues contribute to PTG to a greater extent than trait resilience in both non-PTSD and PTSD groups; however, trait resilience and the virtue of relationship remains a significant predictor in PTSD sample even when the other virtues are controlled. Studies have considered PTG as unrealistic beliefs and positive illusions, whereas other studies have considered PTG as a positive identity change [ 18 ].
If PTG corresponds to unrealistic optimism to manage encountered adversity [ 48 ], resilient individuals should not have to experience such illusions [ 49 ]; this outcome affirms the negative relationship between resilience and PTG. However, the present data do not support this idea.
This finding likely supports our assumption. Dekel, Mandl [ 50 ] suggested that PTG may be an actual outcome of the response to threat and trauma. In this regard, virtues are functionally different from trait resilience. Three virtues contributed additional variances to PTG after trait resilience was controlled. These virtues also exhibit specific functions in samples with or without PTSD diagnosis. Duan and Guo [ 51 ] found that vitality uniquely contributes variances to stress-related PTG in an indirect trauma sample.
The result was validated by another undergraduate sample. Individuals with high vitality often perceive less stress from minor events, which lead to less psychological symptoms [ 28 ]. These findings suggested that vitality might be a protective factor under low-pressure situations rather than trauma or high-pressure situations.
Exploring the Psychological Benefits of Hardship. A Critical Reassessment of Posttraumatic Growth. Authors: Jayawickreme, Eranda, Blackie, Laura E.R. Compre o livro Exploring the Psychological Benefits of Hardship: A Critical Reassessment of Posttraumatic Growth na uwrilligarbpho.ga: confira as ofertas para.
One intervention study found that undergraduates with high vitality virtue are more willing to express their unsatisfied thinking and negative ideas related to daily stress to improve mental health; this approach partly shows the protective role of vitality [ 52 , 53 ]. A year longitudinal study further indicated that self-controllability, which is manifested by the conscientiousness virtue, uniquely predicts PTG when PTSD is controlled [ 50 ].
According to personality-event congruence hypothesis [ 54 ], personality-related vulnerabilities to specific stressors are sensitive to their correspondingly different stressful life events. Thus, different types of traumatic event can cause such inconsistency; thus, the current sample experiences a wide range of different traumas, whereas the previous sample almost experiences earthquake-related traumas [ 51 ]. Another possible explanation is that previous studies [ 50 , 51 ] did not analyze trait resilience.
Although the results are slightly different, the protective function of virtues under stressful situations can be expected. For instance, a meta-analysis has indicated that social support is a very important contributor to PTG in studies [ 55 ]. Individuals with stronger relationship virtue are more likely to maximize external resources e. A few studies have examined the role of virtues in the context of trauma; as a result, conclusions cannot be drawn from limited studies.
Nevertheless, we can conclude that trait resilience is probably a more stable and reliable factor affecting PTG than virtues in the context of trauma; by comparison, virtues are more sensitive to different stressful situations than trait resilience. Some limitations of the current study should be discussed.
First, event types may be an important influencing factor, which was not examined in the current study. However, the researchers recommend that further studies should be conducted before any conclusions can be drawn because of the limited sample size of the present study. Second, the current study only involved undergraduate students, who seldom experience specific traumatic events, such as cancer and bereavement; these students might not show an in-depth understanding of growth after trauma.
Community sample and more psychological outcomes should be examined in future studies. Third, causal relationship cannot be determined from the current cross-sectional design. Hence, future studies should adopt a longitudinal design and a large sample size to identify changes in trait resilience and virtues before and after traumatic events occur.
At concept and measurement level, resilience, virtue, and PTG likely overlap or show multiple conceptualizations, such as outcome, state, or trait. Therefore, future research should be conducted to distinguish and provide precise definition and measurements. Conceived and designed the experiments: WD P.
Gan P. Performed the experiments: WD P. Analyzed the data: WD. Wrote the paper: WD P.
Browse Subject Areas? Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field. Abstract The present study aims to examine the relationship between trait resilience and virtues in the context of trauma. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited Data Availability: All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files.
Funding: These authors have no support or funding to report. Introduction Life-threatening events, such as earthquake, bereavement, and cancer, cause post-traumatic stress disorders PTSD and post-traumatic growth PTG ; PTG is indicated as positive changes and transcendences from traumatic experiences [ 1 , 2 ]. Methods 1 Participants and Procedures Data collection was divided into two stages.
Download: PPT. Table 1. Results 1 Descriptive Statistics and Correlation Analysis The results of descriptive statistics and correlation analysis are shown in Table 2. Table 2. Table 3. Fig 1. Table 4. Discussion The present study aims to explore the relationship between trait resilience and three virtues based on a sample with personal trauma in one year and on self-reported PTSD and PTG.
S1 Dataset. References 1. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum; The Posttraumatic Growth Inventory: Measuring the positive legacy of trauma. Journal of traumatic stress.