Moderators of the relation between perceived and actual posttraumatic growth

Amy L. Gunty, Patricia A. Frazier, Howard Tennen, Patricia Tomich, Ty Tashiro, Crystal Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Although numerous studies suggest that most people report posttraumatic growth (PTG) following traumatic events, the relations between measures of self-reported PTG and actual pre- to posttrauma growth are small (Frazier et al., 2009). The purpose of the current study was to investigate moderators of the relation between perceived and actual growth. Participants were undergraduates who had experienced a traumatic event between Time 1 and Time 2 (2 months later; n = 122) and a matched no-trauma comparison group (n = 122). Participants completed self-report measures of perceived growth (Posttraumatic Growth Inventory; Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1996) at Time 2, actual growth from Time 1 to Time 2 (Frazier et al., 2009), and 4 potential moderators (i.e., distress and life satisfaction at Time 2 and neuroticism and self-esteem at Time 1 pre-event). The moderator analyses suggested that, in the trauma group, perceived growth was more strongly related to actual growth for individuals who reported less distress and more life satisfaction posttrauma. None of the 4 variables were significant moderators for the no-trauma group. Clinical and research implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


  • coping
  • moderators
  • posttraumatic growth
  • stress-related growth
  • trauma


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