PTSD, Resilience and Posttraumatic growth among ex-prisoners of war and combat veterans

Gadi Zerach*, Zahava Solomon, Assaf Cohen, Tsachi Ein-Dor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background: Past studies have shown that adversity may yield various salutogenic outcomes. two constructs that have been at the center of this scientific investigation are resilience and posttraumatic growth (PtG). the present study aims to clarify the relations between posttraumatic stress symptoms, resilience and PtG among israeli war veterans. Method: the sample includes former prisoners of war (ex-POWs) (n=103) and comparable veterans (n=106) of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. the veterans were assessed twice: 18 and 30 years after the war with self-report questionnaires. Results: resilience, defned as the absence of posttraumatic symptoms, and PtG are negatively correlated. resilient ex- POWs and veterans reported the lowest levels of PtG when compared to participants diagnosed with clinical and sub-clinical posttraumatic stress disorder (PtSd). Furthermore, PtG dimensions were found to be the most differentiating factor between study groups, followed by war exposure measures and clinical reports of depression and anxiety symptoms. Conclusions: this study strengthens the understanding that combatants who report high-level PtSd symptoms also report higher levels of positive psychological changes in the face of severe adversity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-99
Number of pages9
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


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