Posttraumatic growth among people with serious mental illness, psychosis and posttraumatic stress symptoms

Yael Mazor, Marc Gelkopf, David Roe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent research has shown high rates of exposure to trauma among people with serious mental illness (SMI). In addition, studies suggest that psychosis and mental illness-related experiences can be extremely traumatic. While some individuals develop posttraumatic symptomatology related to these experiences, some appear to experience posttraumatic growth (PTG). Little is known, however, about PTG as a possible outcome among people who experienced psychosis as well as posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). For further understanding of the relationship between PTSS and PTG among people with SMI who experienced psychosis, 121 participants were recruited from community mental health rehabilitation centers and administered trauma and psychiatric questionnaires. Results revealed that while high levels of traumatic exposure were common, most participants experienced some level of PTG which was contingent upon meaning making and coping self-efficacy. In addition, posttraumatic avoidance symptoms were found to be a major obstacle to PTG. The range of effect sizes for significant results ranged from η2 = 0.037 to η2 = 0.144. These findings provide preliminary evidence for the potential role of meaning making and coping self-efficacy as mediators of PTG in clinical, highly traumatized populations of people with SMI and psychosis. Implications of these findings for future research and clinical practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
StatePublished - Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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