Posttraumatic growth among American former prisoners of war

Christopher Erbes, Raina Eberly, Thomas Dikel, Erica Johnsen, Irene Harris, Brian Engdahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Posttraumatic growth was assessed in a community sample of 95 former prisoners of war studied over a 12 year period. Developmental history, personality, social support, and PTSD measures from two earlier time points were used to predict current scores on the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI). We hypothesized positive predictive relationships between PTGI indices and trauma exposure (and corresponding distress levels), positive affect, and social support. Positive Affectivity, Constraint, and two Social Support measures followed a pattern of significant and near-significant positive correlations with PTGI total score, Relationships with Others, and Spiritual Change, suggesting multidirectional relationships among these variables. POW trauma exposure correlated with Perceived Strength. Regression analyses significantly predicted PTGI total score, Improved Relationships, and Spiritual Change. The results both lend support to and raise questions about the construct validity of the PTGI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-295
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005


  • American POWs
  • Posttraumatic growth inventory (PTGI)
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder


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