Natural disasters, including floods, affect entire communities and often lead survivors to report symptoms of posttraumatic stress (PTS). Although the vast majority of disaster research focuses on negative emotional outcomes, individuals may simultaneously experience positive outcomes such as posttraumatic growth (PTG). This study examined the influence of attitudes toward God (i.e., positive attitudes toward God and disappointment/anger with God) on perceived PTG and PTS following the 2016 floods in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (N = 416). Hierarchical regressions revealed that flood exposure and attitudes toward God predicted perceived PTG and PTS. In addition, disappointment/anger with God helped to moderate the relationship between flood exposure and perceived PTG in flood survivors. Findings underscore the role that counselors can play in facilitating growth in disaster survivors and in processing spiritual topics with clients when relevant.
Posttraumatic Growth and Trauma in Flood Survivors: Contributions of Attitudes Toward God
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Melissa Zeligman, Stacey E. McElroy-Heltzel, Edward B. Davis, Franco Dispenza, Don E. Davis, Cirleen DeBlaere; Posttraumatic Growth and Trauma in Flood Survivors: Contributions of Attitudes Toward God. Journal of Mental Health Counseling 1 March 2019; 41 (2): 127–143. doi: https://doi.org/10.17744/mehc.41.2.03
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