This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Dimensions of Growth: Examining the Five Factors of the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory




Silverstein, Madison

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




Posttraumatic growth (PTG) is positive transformation following a traumatic experience. PTG, commonly measured with the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI; Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1996), is postulated to occur in five distinct domains. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) of the PTGI have found adequate fit for the five-factor model. However, several conceptual and methodological issues remain unresolved. Specifically, model fit for the five-factor model has never been found to be good, the five factors are highly intercorrelated, and inconsistent results have been found with respect to the higher-order model. Moreover, although trauma exposure is considered necessary for experiencing PTG, many studies have included individuals who experienced non-traumatic stressors. Accordingly, the present study aimed to further examine the fit of the five-factor model and higher-order model of the PTGI, the distinctiveness of the five factors by examining their differential patterns of correlations with external variables, and the factorial invariance of the PTGI across groups exposed to either traumatic or non-traumatic stressors. Results indicated that the five-factor model provided the best fit and latent means were equivalent across groups. Last, the five factors demonstrated differential patterns of correlations with external variables. Thus, results indicate that the PTGI measures the same construct in trauma and non-trauma groups, both groups experience the same amount of PTG on average, and the five factors should be used instead of total score.