Association between trajectories of personal growth initiative and post-traumatic stress after Hurricane Harvey: A latent growth mixture modeling approach

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Studies examining the association between personal growth initiative (PGI) and post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) have often utilized cross-sectional research designs, and as a result, the changes in the levels of PGI and its association with the trajectory of PTSS remain unclear. The current study aimed to (1) explore the different trajectories in both PGI and PTSS and (2) examine the associations of the identified trajectories between PGI and PTSS among individuals. The final sample were 419 adults who were physically residing in the area when Hurricane Harvey made landfall on 26 August 2017. The initial data collection occurred approximately 16 months after the Hurricane, and participants were asked to participate again after 1- and 3-month later. A result from the latent growth mixture modeling revealed that for PGI, the 4-class model was the best-fitting model, and for PTSS, the 3-class model was the best-fitting model. When examining the association between the trajectories of PGI and PSS, individuals classified to higher PGI subgroups were more likely to be associated with the Recovery PTSS subgroup. The current study suggests that disaster survivors with higher PGI were more likely to recover from PTSS, raising an importance of incorporating PGI to alleviate future PTSS.

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