The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 371–391 | Cite as

Growth through Adversity: Exploring Associations between Internal Strengths, Posttraumatic Growth, and Wisdom

  • Margaret Plews-OganEmail author
  • Monika Ardelt
  • Justine Owens

The notion of positive transformation in the wake of suffering is not new. This concept is woven through religious and philosophical traditions, and countless examples of this can be found in literature. For years, psychology and medicine tended to focus on the adverse effects of trauma, specifically posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, more recently, psychology has appropriately widened its lens to study the positive effects of trauma, variously described as benefit finding (Affleck & Tennen, 1996), stress-related growth (Park, Cohen, & Murch, 1996), or adversarial growth (Linley & Joseph, 2004). Tedeschi and Calhoun (1996, 2004) termed this positive adaptation to trauma posttraumatic growth and implied that wisdom may be the ultimate result of this positive transformation. At the same time, researchers were beginning to study the elusive concept of wisdom, what it is, how it manifests, and more recently, how it forms (Ardelt, 2004; Ardelt, Gerlach, & Vaillant, (2017);...


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of General Medicine, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of Virginia School of MedicineCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Criminology & LawUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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