There is a gap in the literature concerning the temporal course, and the bidirectional nature, of the relationship between posttraumatic growth (PTG) and posttraumatic stress symptoms. This longitudinal study investigated PTG and posttraumatic stress in individuals directly exposed to the 2011 Oslo bombing (N = 240). To investigate the relationships between PTG and posttraumatic stress 10 (T1) and 22 (T2) months after the bombing, a cross-lagged autoregressive model was applied. High levels of PTG at T1 were associated with high levels of posttraumatic stress at T2. Furthermore, high levels of posttraumatic stress at T1 were associated with high levels of PTG at T2. The association between PTG and stress declined from 10 to 22 months and was not significant after 22 months. These findings indicate that PTG may be both a consequence and antecedent of posttraumatic stress.
These study indicate that posttraumatic growth may be both a consequence and antecedent of posttraumatic stress.