Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Jeffrey R. Stowell


During the past 20 years, posttraumatic growth has been recognized and emphasized to promote physical and psychological health after life-threatening events. There has also been an increasing number of individual studies on posttraumatic growth and its associated factors. However, it still remains unclear whether and how these relationships are facilitated. Therefore, the current meta-analysis aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding on the important associated factors of posttraumatic growth. Posttraumatic stress, event centrality, emotion regulation, and religious or spiritual coping and their actual relationships with posttraumatic growth were examined along with some potential moderators. Results from 56 studies (N = 20,132) revealed that all four factors are positively related to posttraumatic growth. Event centrality showed the largest effect sizes. Emotion regulation and religious or spiritual coping yielded moderate effect sizes. Posttraumatic stress indicated the small effect sizes. Trauma type, study type, and time since the traumatic event were significant moderators of all the above relationships of posttraumatic growth. Heterogeneity issues among included studies were addressed. Findings from the current meta-analysis expanded an avenue for future research to determine facilitators of therapeutic outcomes in trauma populations, as well as clinical factors affecting such processes.