Natural Disasters

Posttraumatic Growth: Spouses’ Relationship Quality and Psychological Distress

December 6, 2015
Journal of Loss and Trauma

While research links interpersonal processes to posttraumatic growth (PTG; Calhoun & Tedeschi, 2006a), little is known about whether partners’ PTG has consequences for people’s (i.e., actors’) relationship functioning and psychological distress. Sixty-one married couples who had experienced severe flooding completed measures of PTG, perceptions of spouses’ PTG, relationship quality, and psychological distress 6 and 12 months following the event. Partners’ increased PTG predicted actors’ increased perceptions of partners’ PTG, which predicted actors’ increased relationship quality, which, in turn, predicted actors’ decreased psychological distress. Thus, partners’ PTG can benefit spouses’ evaluations of their relationship and, ultimately, actors’ psychological well-being.

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