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SpringerBriefs in Psychology

Exploring the Psychological Benefits of Hardship

A Critical Reassessment of Posttraumatic Growth

Authors: Jayawickreme, Eranda, Blackie, Laura E.R.

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  • Argues for a new conceptualization of posttraumatic growth research
  • Provides a methodological toolkit from personality science for assessing posttraumatic growth 
  • Provides recommendations for researchers to improve the study of posttraumatic growth
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eBook $54.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-47989-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $69.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-47987-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Can adversity lead to enduring positive change across the lifespan? Providing a thoughtful and considered exploration of this question, this book presents a critical reassessment of posttraumatic growth, based on correcting prior theoretical and methodological limitations in the current research. Its core argument is that posttraumatic growth should be reconceptualized as positive personality change, and thus should be studied using novel methodological approaches from the field of personality psychology. 

Broadly, this argument is put forward in five progressive sections.   Beginning by giving a conceptual and interdisciplinary overview of posttraumatic growth as a phenomenon, the volume then reviews the current academic conceptualization of posttraumatic growth and makes a case for a ‘reset’ in the research.  The next section maintains that posttraumatic growth is in fact a form of positive personality change and should be analyzed using personality science methodology.  Using positive personality change as a theoretical foundation for posttraumatic growth,  the following two sections look at posttraumatic growth in context. It is explored both in the long term, such as in the development of reflective knowledge and wisdom, and in specific situations such as with refugees in Sri Lanka and survivors of the Rwandan genocide.  Lastly, Exploring the Psychological Benefits of Hardship: A Critical Reassessment of Posttraumatic Growth concludes by offering recommendations for scholars and researchers  that will improve the quality of research on posttraumatic growth, and will advance this important and worthy field. 


About the authors

Eranda Jayawickreme is an assistant professor of psychology at Wake Forest University. He received his PhD in positive and political psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in October 2010 and is broadly interested in questions related to well-being, moral psychology, posttraumatic growth and political psychology. Trained in both psychology and moral philosophy, he graduated with summa cum laude honors from Franklin & Marshall College in 2005 and was awarded the Henry S. Williamson Medal, the college’s highest student award presented annually to the outstanding senior of the graduating class. His awards include grants from the John Templeton Foundation, the Asia Foundation/USAID, the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism, and the Positive Psychology Center, a Mellon Refugee Initiative Fund Fellowship, and numerous academic awards from Franklin & Marshall College. He currently serves on the executive committee of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology as well as the Advisory Board for the Character Virtue Development Department of the John Templeton Foundation.

Laura Blackie received her Ph.D. in experimental social psychology from the University of Essex in the U.K in January 2012. Currently, she is a research fellow position at the University of Nottingham working on a project examining the testimonies of survivors and perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide. Her research interests are in the area of existential psychology, broadly focusing on what can motivate an individual to engage in intrinsically meaningful and authentic behavior that is specific and relevant to their needs, values, and character.  Her research on this topic led to a recent publication in Psychological Science that demonstrated increased prosocial behavior as a function of specific and individuated mortality awareness. Her research has recently been cited in the Huffington Post, and Scientific American.

Reviews

“The book under review … consists of a thorough and critical review of the field that has become known as PTG within the newly developed Positive Psychology. … this brief volume is both concise and comprehensive; it is up-to-date and highly stimulating. … Finally, while the book is mainly addressed to researchers in the field, it should be of high interest to clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, and any other clinicians involved in dealing with victims of traumatic incidents.” (Victor A. Colotla, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 62 (8), February, 2017)

“In Exploring the Psychological Benefits of Hardship: A Critical Reassessment of Posttraumatic Growth, Eranda Jayawickreme and Laura E.R. Blackie present a valuable inquiry into the evaluation of posttraumatic growth and the accuracy of posttraumatic growth tests, concluding a need to reexamine how to assess for such changes. … Exploring the Psychological Benefits of Hardship: A Critical Reassessment of Posttraumatic Growth provides a great evaluation of the current state of posttraumatic growth research … .” (Nicholas Minaudo, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 46, 2017)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)
  • Introduction: What Are the True Benefits of Adversity?

    Pages 1-6

    Jayawickreme, Eranda (et al.)

  • Contemporary Understandings of Posttraumatic Growth

    Pages 7-17

    Jayawickreme, Eranda (et al.)

  • Can We Trust Current Findings on Posttraumatic Growth?

    Pages 19-31

    Jayawickreme, Eranda (et al.)

  • Methodologies for the Study of Posttraumatic Growth: Some New Directions

    Pages 33-40

    Jayawickreme, Eranda (et al.)

  • Exploring the Long-Term Benefits of Adversity: What Is Posttraumatic Wisdom?

    Pages 41-52

    Jayawickreme, Eranda (et al.)

Buy this book

eBook $54.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-47989-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $69.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-47987-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Exploring the Psychological Benefits of Hardship
Book Subtitle
A Critical Reassessment of Posttraumatic Growth
Authors
Series Title
SpringerBriefs in Psychology
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-47989-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-47989-7
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-47987-3
Series ISSN
2192-8363
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 77
Topics