Poststructuralism Doctrine

OF. See PARADIGM SHIFT DOCTRINE.

POSTTRAUMATIC GROWTH MODELS. The concept of posttraumatic growth (e.g., Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1996, 2004) refers to the experience of positive change that occurs as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life crises (e.g., near-death experiences, terminal diseases), and is manifested in a number of ways, including an increased appreciation for life in general, more meaningful interpersonal relationships, an increased sense of personal strength, changed priorities, and a richer spiritual and existential life. Three explanatory posttraumatic growth models (cf., Janoff-Bulman, 2004) are: strength through suffering - knowing that survivors have experienced pain and suffering and have come through their trials is sufficient for understanding their new-found strength; psychological preparedness - posits that by virtue of coping successfully with their experience, survivors are not only better prepared for subsequent tragedies but, as a consequence, are apt to be less traumatized by them as well; coping involves rebuilding a viable "assumptive world," and it is change at this level that provides the survivor with psychological protection; and existential reevaluation - in the face of loss, and potential loss, survivors recognize the preciousness of life and, when faced with the powerful possibility of nonexis-tence, they become aware of the amazing fact of, and value of, existence; life takes on new meaning and value, and appreciation involves an appraisal or reevaluation of increased value/worth. Although the term posttraumatic growth is new, the idea is ancient that "great good may come from great suffering." However, in posttraumatic conditions, the positive and negative aspects are linked inextricably. The long-term legacy of trauma involves both losses and gains; as in the case of reversible figures in perception psychology, the survivor may focus on one or the other, but both are present. In the aftermath of trauma, survivors experience both disillusionment and appreciation, unpredictability and preparedness, and vulnerability and strength. It is suggested that the notion of posttraumatic growth mutually interacts with "life-wisdom" and the development of the "life narrative," and that it is a dynamic and ongoing process, rather than a static outcome. See also DUAL PROCESS MODELS; INOCULATION THE-ORY; STRESS THEORY. REFERENCES

Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (1996). The Posttraumatic Growth Inventory: Measuring the positive legacy of trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 9, 455-471.

Janoff-Bulman, R. (2004). Posttraumatic growth: Three explanatory models. Psychological Inquiry, 15, 30-34. Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (2004).

Posttraumatic growth: Conceptual foundations and empirical evidence. Psychological Inquiry, 15, 1-18.

POWER LAW. See STEVENS' POWER LAW.

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