The Posttraumatic Growth Inventory: factor structure and invariance among persons with chronic diseases

Rehabil Psychol. 2014 Feb;59(1):10-18. doi: 10.1037/a0035353. Epub 2014 Jan 20.


Objective: The Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) assesses positive changes after a traumatic or serious life crisis. However, there are differing views regarding its factor structure and little understanding if it captures the positive changes experienced among individuals diagnosed with a chronic disease. Using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), the proposed five-factor structure and measurement invariance of the PTGI was examined using two chronic illness samples: arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Method: Individuals diagnosed with arthritis (n = 301) or IBD (n = 544) recruited from the community and the Internet completed the PTGI. Using a pooled sample, CFA tested five hypothesized models of the underlying factors structure of the PTGI. A stepwise procedure for testing the measurement invariance across the two groups evaluated the factor structure, factorial invariance, and latent mean invariance.

Results: Using the pooled sample, the CFA supported the hypothesized five-factor model, revealing the PTGI is multidimensional. Multigroup CFA supported invariance of the PTGI across the two groups although there were significant differences in latent means.

Conclusions: The findings support that the PTGI assesses five related dimensions of PTG and that different chronic disease groups experience different types of positive changes. PTG may therefore be relevant as a meaningful treatment goal for people with chronic diseases as it is for people affected by other traumatic events.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological / physiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthritis / psychology*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / psychology*
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics
  • Young Adult