What factors are associated with posttraumatic growth in older adults? A systematic review

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Abstract

Objectives Posttraumatic growth (PTG) is of increased theoretical and clinical interest. However, less is known about PTG in older adults specifically. This systematic review aimed to identify domains where PTG is studied for older adults; investigate factors associated with PTG in older adults; consider how these might differ between historical and later life traumas. Methods Online databases were searched for quantitative studies examining PTG outcomes in adults aged >= 60 years. Results 15 studies were subject to a narrative synthesis. Conclusions Older adults can experience substantial levels of PTG, from traumas during later life or across the lifespan, and historical wartime traumas. Traumas can be diverse, some studies found equivalent levels of PTG from different traumas across the lifespan. Social processes may be a key variable for older adults. Additional psychosocial factors are found; however, diverse findings reflect no overall model, and this may be consistent with variations found in other PTG literature. Clinical Implications Clinical considerations are discussed. As diverse studies, findings may not be widely generalizable and directions for further research are highlighted. PROSPERO: CRD42020169318.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalClinical Gerontologist
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • posttraumatic growth
  • trauma
  • aging
  • older adults
  • systematic review
  • WORLD-WAR-II
  • STRESS-DISORDER SYMPTOMS
  • BREAST-CANCER
  • SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS
  • MENTAL-HEALTH
  • TRAUMA
  • RESILIENCE
  • SURVIVORS
  • LIFE
  • ADVERSITY

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