Date of Award

Summer 8-12-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Catherine Y. Chang, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Greg Brack, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Don Davis, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Franco Dispenza, Ph.D.


Despite the negative psychological, emotional, relational, and physiological impact of traumatic events that often persist into adulthood (Breslau, Davis, Andreski, Peterson, 1991; Briere, 2004), some individuals may also experience posttraumatic growth (PTG) as they struggle to resolve their traumatic experiences. PTG is a process that originates from a cognitive response to cope with traumatic events, and an outcome that yields positive personal changes (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1998). Several factors are linked to the increased likelihood of PTG such as symptom severity, coping resources, and personality characteristics (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004). This study examined the contributory roles of life-style themes, coping resources, trauma symptoms, and their interaction on different forms of PTG in a sample of college graduate and undergraduates. Wanting Recognition, Tension Control, Social Support, and trauma symptoms were significantly related to PTG. Significant interaction effects were revealed between Wanting Recognition, Social Support and trauma symptoms. Implications for practice and research are discussed.