Posttraumatic growth moderates the effects of posttraumatic stress symptoms on adjustment and positive affective reactions in digestive system cancer patients

Hasida Ben-Zur, Miri Cohen, Julia Gouzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study aims were twofold: (1) To investigate the associations of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and posttraumatic growth (PTG) with adjustment and affective reactions of digestive system cancer patients and (2) To assess the moderating effects of PTG on the associations of PTSS with adjustment and affective reactions. The sample consisted of 200 respondents 1-4 years following diagnosis and treatment for digestive system cancer. Participants completed questionnaires assessing PTSS, PTG, adjustment, positive affect (PA), and negative affect (NA). The results showed that PTG was positively associated with adjustment and PA, while PTSS was negatively associated with these outcomes and positively associated with NA. Moderation effects of PTG were also observed: The negative associations between PTSS and adjustment or PA were weaker under high levels than under low levels of PTG. It was concluded that PTG is important both as a contributor to better adjustment and PA, as well as a moderator of the detrimental effects of PTSS on adjustment and PA following recovery from cancer. Thus, when developing post-cancer intervention programs, PTG should be viewed as a factor to be encouraged and nurtured for the benefit of cancer patients adjustment and their long-term well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-696
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.


  • adjustment
  • digestive system cancer
  • positive and negative affect
  • posttraumatic growth
  • posttraumatic stress symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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