Methods: Vietnam combat veterans across five counties of Western New York participated in this cross-sectional study (N=117; Mage=69.53yrs, SD=3.4). Most Veterans (94%) were non-Hispanic White, 28.2% had ≥4-yr college, 76.1% were married/cohabiting. Veterans were enlisted (62.4%) or drafted (37.6%) and the majority were Army (65.8%). Measures included PCL-5 (PTSD), PTGI (PTG), BRS (Resilience), and DRRI-2 (Social support). Hierarchical regressions (linear and quadratic) were run, controlling for social support.
Results. Quadratic models fit best for PTG regressed on total-PTSD, resilience regressed on PTG, and PTG regressed on symptom cluster 4 of PTSD (Alterations in arousal and reactivity).
For instance, PTG regressed on total-PTSD showed that PTG increased by 1.23 units for an additional unit of total-PTSD if the slope remained unchanged. Each additional increase in total-PTSD reduced the slope by 1.5 units, such that the PTG decreased and the relationship reversed after total-PTSD increased further. Some linear models had better fit than quadratic models. Results indicated that PTSD1 (Intrusion symptoms) and PTSD2 (Avoidance) were positively associated with PTG, whereas total-PTSD, PTSD1, PTSD2, PTSD3 (Negative alterations in cognitions and mood), and PTSD4 (Alterations in arousal and reactivity) were negatively associated with resilience.
Implications. Empirical evidence supports salubrious outcomes and/or correlates of trauma, such as PTG and resilience, may coexist or proceed from PTSD/trauma. Clinical research, therefore, should examine efficacy of strength-based approaches along with trauma-informed models.