“What does not kill you… mutates and tries again.” A study on personality determinants of post-traumatic growth during the COVID-19 pandemic

Serena Petrocchi, Sara Angela Pellegrino, Greta Manoni, Giada Petrovic, Peter J. Schulz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction. The COVID-19 pandemic was recognized as a collective trauma and as a major threat to mental health. Recent literature focused on the stress symptomatology or post-traumatic stress disorder associated to the COVID-19 exposure. The concept that people have a natural inclination toward growth, even under stressful and threatening events, gathered less attention. Previous research has analyzed antecedents of post-traumatic growth (PTG) with non-conclusive results. Methods. The present research aimed at including findings on PTG from personality traits, i.e., sense of control and self-mastery, and distal condition of nurturance and support received by others, i.e., cognitive and affective well-being. Analyses were based on 4934 interviews with adults (Mage = 57.81 years, 55.5% women) from the Swiss Household Panel study. Results. Relationships over time emerged between sense of control and self-mastery on PTG and worries, measured after two years, via the mediation of cognitive and affective well-being. Conclusion. Results come from a large study in a design seldom employed in this type of research and can inform both research and interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20134-20148
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Psychology
Volume42
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Post-traumatic growth
  • Self-mastery
  • Sense of control
  • Trauma
  • Well-being

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