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Review
, 20 (5), 37

Posttraumatic Growth as a Response to Natural Disasters in Children and Adolescents

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Review

Posttraumatic Growth as a Response to Natural Disasters in Children and Adolescents

Melissa Bernstein et al. Curr Psychiatry Rep.

Abstract

Purpose of review: This review examines factors thought to be associated with posttraumatic growth (PTG) (demographic variables, exposure, and family and social processes) among youth exposed to natural disasters, describes the relationship between PTG and posttraumatic stress, and discusses psychological processes (rumination and coping) linked to PTG.

Recent findings: Guided by PTG theory and the literature on PTG in adults, research has revealed relationships between PTG and child, environmental, and family and social factors among youth though the results are mixed. Youth's subjective exposure to disasters, their level of posttraumatic stress following the disaster, and the type of psychological processes they employ to cope with the disaster appear to be associated with PTG. Research has garnered preliminary support for PTG in children exposed to natural disasters but additional research is needed to fully explicate these relationships and to understand how these relationships change over time.

Keywords: Children; Disaster reactions; Natural disasters; Posttraumatic growth; Trauma.

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