Comparing correlates of posttraumatic growth for military veteran versus non-military veteran samples
Gary Blau, Glen Miller
Background: There has been a great deal of research on studying variables affecting posttraumatic growth (PTG) after a crisis or traumatic event across different samples. However, there has been little research comparing common correlates of PTG for military veteran versus non-military veteran samples. Using common demographic, trauma-related, and coping style variables, the research question tested if there were common correlates of PTG between a military veteran versus non-military veteran sample. Methods: Using an online survey, we recruited 153 military veterans and 99 non-military veterans to compare on the study variables. The research design was cross-sectional. Results: Controlled for demographic (gender, race, age, and highest education level) and traumatic event variables (total number of traumatic events, how long ago most powerful traumatic event) had minimal impact on PTG. Three coping scales, positive reframing, self-distraction, and alternative work, were measured. Positive reframing was positively related to PTG for both samples. Self-distraction was a positive correlate to PTG for the non-military veteran sample, while alternative work was a positive correlate for the military veteran sample. Conclusion: Further study of the motivation factors that contribute to positive reframing and alternative work could prove interesting to determine how PTG is gained. That self-distraction was a positive correlate to PTG for the non-military veteran sample suggests that such focusing away from the trauma/crisis may be helpful. Continued research on investigating common versus differentiating correlates of PTG for different samples is needed.