Reciprocal influence between posttraumatic stress and posttraumatic growth approximately one year after hurricane harvey: A bivariate latent change score modeling approach

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The current study examined reciprocal effects of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) and posttraumatic growth (PTG) at 16, 17, and 19 months after Hurricane Harvey. The final sample included 443 adults who were physically residing in the area when Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 26, 2017. Bivariate latent change score modeling was conducted to examine the nature of the time-sequential associations between PTSS and PTG. A result from the latent change score modeling revealed a unidirectional coupling effect from PTG to change in PTSS, indicating that individuals with higher levels of PTG were more likely to experience decreased prevalence of PTSS. However, the unidirectional coupling effect from PTSS to change in PTG was not supported. The current study suggests that disaster survivors with higher levels of PTG may experience decreased prevalence of PTSS, raising the importance of tailoring a treatment incorporating PTG to alleviate future PTSS.

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