Objective: Military veterans are more likely than civilians to experience trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research suggests, however, that some people who experience trauma, including veterans, report posttraumatic growth (PTG), or positive personal changes following adversity. In this study, we tested a comprehensive model of PTG, PTSD, and satisfaction with life in a veteran population, exploring the roles of challenges to core beliefs, types of rumination, sex, and time since event. Method: Data were collected via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, an online crowdsourcing website, from veterans (N = 197) who had experienced a stressful event within the last 3 years (M = 16.66 months, SD = 12.27 months). Structural equation modeling was used to test an integrated conceptual model of PTG, PTSD, and satisfaction with life. Results: Results showed that challenge to core beliefs was directly associated with both deliberate and intrusive rumination. Deliberate rumination was positively related to PTG; intrusive rumination was positively related to symptoms of PTSD. PTG and PTSD, in turn, mediated the relationship between rumination styles and satisfaction with life; PTG was related to higher satisfaction with life; and PTSD was negatively related to satisfaction with life. Results failed to show differences on any model variables as a function of time since event or sex. Conclusion: Results indicate that the intentional facilitation of PTG may be a complementary and alternative option to the reduction of PTSD symptoms for improving satisfaction with life. Findings suggest that efforts to facilitate PTG should be focused on strategies for promoting deliberate rumination.
Posttraumatic stress, posttraumatic growth, and satisfaction with life in military Veterans