Posttraumatic stress and growth in student service members and veterans: The role of personal growth initiative

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Objective: This study explored the extent to which personal growth initiative (PGI) may predict posttraumatic stress and growth in student service members/veterans (SSM/V). Participants: Participants were 136 SSM/V (79% men) representing multiple branches of the armed forces. Forty-four percent of participants reported having combat experience. Methods: Data collection occurred from October 2013 to February 2014. Data were collected via a Web-based survey that included demographics and measures of personal growth initiative, posttraumatic stress, posttraumatic growth, and perceived social support. Results: Results indicated that PGI is not a unique predictor of posttraumatic stress but is a unique predictor of higher levels of posttraumatic growth. PGI appears to be at least as important as perceived social support in facilitating growth in SSM/V. Conclusions: This study provides further evidence for PGI's potential to facilitate growth after a traumatic event.

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