The present study investigated perceived posttraumatic growth in 197 ministerial employees who were present at work during the 2011 Oslo bombing attack. The relationships between trauma-exposure, peritraumatic reactions and posttraumatic growth were studied. Moreover, the adaptive significance of posttraumatic growth was addressed.
The results showed that higher levels of trauma-exposure and immediate reactions were significantly related to perceived posttraumatic growth. No support for an adaptive significance of posttraumatic growth was found. On the contrary, posttraumatic growth was associated with higher symptom levels of posttraumatic stress. After adjusting for posttraumatic stress symptoms no association was found between perceived growth and work and social adjustment. However, perceived growth was associated with higher levels of life satisfaction.
The present results are in line with previous findings indicating that perceived growth may be unrelated to psychological adjustment, and suggest that the concept and significance of posttraumatic growth should be interpreted with caution.
Posttraumatic growth Posttraumatic stress PTSD Adjustment Life satisfaction