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Posttraumatic growth and adjustment to spinal cord injury: moderated by posttraumatic depreciation?

Kunz, Simon; Joseph, Stephen; Geyh, Szilvia; Peter, Claudia


Simon Kunz

Szilvia Geyh

Claudia Peter


Objective: Findings on the relationship of posttraumatic growth (PTG) with adjustment to potentially traumatic events are inconsistent, whereupon posttraumatic depreciation (PTD) has been suggested as a possible moderator. The objective of this study is to investigate the associations between PTG and PTD on one side and life satisfaction and indicators of mental and physical health on the other side in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). The primary study aim is to test whether PTD moderates the relationships of PTG and different adjustment indicators. Method: A total of 141 patients administered to one of four Swiss SCI rehabilitation centers completed questionnaires assessing PTG and PTD, different indicators of mental and physical health as well as life satisfaction at discharge from first rehabilitation. Correlational and regression methods were used to examine the research question. Results: PTG and PTD were significantly positively correlated (rs = .47). PTD was significantly associated with lower mental and physical health and lower life satisfaction, with small to large effect sizes. PTD moderated the associations of PTG with symptoms of depression and life satisfaction (? of interaction term = -.18 and .24, respectively). PTG was significantly related to lower levels of symptoms of depression and higher life satisfaction in individuals experiencing moderate to high levels of PTD. In contrast, PTG was not significantly related to these outcomes in individuals with low PTD levels. Conclusion: The neglect of PTD in research partially explains mixed findings on the relationship of PTG and adjustment to potentially traumatic events.


Kunz, S., Joseph, S., Geyh, S., & Peter, C. (in press). Posttraumatic growth and adjustment to spinal cord injury: moderated by posttraumatic depreciation?. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 9(4), 434-444.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 23, 2016
Online Publication Date Jun 27, 2016
Deposit Date Jun 15, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 27, 2016
Journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Print ISSN 1942-9681
Electronic ISSN 1942-9681
Publisher American Psychological Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 4
Pages 434-444
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.


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