Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 387–397 | Cite as

Ceiling Effects and Floor Effects of the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory

  • Kanako TakuEmail author
  • Shuhei Iimura
  • Leah McDiarmid
Original Paper


The current study investigated the effects of a brief psycho-educational presentation about posttraumatic growth (PTG: positive changes that may occur as a result of psychological struggle with a highly stressful life event) on the self-reported PTG by using the PTG Inventory (PTGI). Few empirical studies have investigated the possible ceiling or floor effects of the PTGI, despite researchers indicating the necessity of longitudinal studies to reveal the PTG processes. This study used a pre-test, brief presentation, and post-test longitudinal design to examine the effects of intervention among adolescents by considering the floor and ceiling effects of the PTGI. Participants, 54 high school students (37 females, 17 males, Mean age = 15.92 years), completed the PTGI at three weeks interval. Results using the Latent Rank Theory approach demonstrated ceiling effects in students who reported a high degree of PTG at Time 1, and floor effects in students with low PTG at Time 1. Presentation effects were not evident even in those who reported a moderate degree of PTG at Time 1. These findings suggest that it is important to be aware of the ceiling/floor effects while measuring changes in PTG perception over time and that explaining the phenomenon of PTG is not likely to be enough to affect the PTG perceptions.


Posttraumatic growth PTGI Floor effects Ceiling effects Latent Rank Theory 


Author Contributions

K.T.: Designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and wrote the paper. S.I.: Analyzed the data, and wrote part of the results. L.M.: Collaborated in writing and editing the paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The research project has been approved by Oakland University IRB [Protocol Reference Number 436353, approved in April 10, 2012]. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants and included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyChuo UniversityHachiojiJapan
  3. 3.Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Research Fellow (DC1)TokyoJapan
  4. 4.Psychology DepartmentEastern Michigan UniversityYpsilantiUSA

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