Examining psychological resilience and posttraumatic growth following terrorist attacks in Turkey
Citationİkizer, G. & Özel, E. P. (2021). Examining psychological resilience and posttraumatic growth following terrorist attacks in Turkey. Traumatology, 27(2), 236-243. doi:10.1037/trm0000255
Acts of terrorism, being highly prevalent across the world, disrupt community and social functioning and can lead to negative psychological reactions in individuals. However, positive outcomes can also be evoked after adverse experiences. The current study aimed to explore two salutogenic or positive outcomes—resilience and posttraumatic growth (PTG)—following exposure to terrorist attacks. The sample included 331 university students who were exposed to a terrorist attack in Turkey during the last 18 months prior to data collection. Participants responded to the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory, and a participant information form. The relationship between resilience and PTG was examined through correlation analysis and regression analyses with linear and quadratic components. Resilience and PTG were positively correlated. Tendency toward spirituality was the only resilience domain that was significantly correlated with all domains of growth. Total score of resilience was significantly associated with scores on all subscales of the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory except appreciation of life. Results indicated that only linear relationships existed between domains of resilience and PTG in the study sample. The positive and linear association between resilience and PTG suggests that resilience may be an important tool for facilitating growth. After terrorist attacks, mental health care planning should adopt a patient-centered approach that acknowledges the possibility of positive outcomes following traumatic events and focuses on the impact as well as recovery phases in traumatized individuals.