Personal Transformation: Posttraumatic Growth and Gerotranscendence

Weiss, T. (2013). Personal Transformation: Posttraumatic Growth and Gerotranscendence. Journal of Humanistic Psychology July 2, 2013 0022167813492388

Abstract: This article connects two rich but distinct literatures on personal transformation and well-being that can benefit from cross-fertilization. It explores the intersection of posttraumatic growth (PTG), a model of positive changes following traumatic events, and gerotranscendence, a theory of positive changes related to aging. The two conceptualizations of positive change are compared on multiple dimensions. These include the philosophical base, domains, trigger, mechanism, and correlates of change, as well as the connection of change with wisdom and life satisfaction. The analysis reveals many similarities between the two paths to personal transformation with the key difference being the trigger for growth. Whereas PTG connects growth to traumatic events, gerotranscendence connects the growth to normative later life experiences. The similarities identified imply that PTG could be viewed as part of normative adult development and as an accelerator of gerotranscendence. The analysis also indicates that transformation in normative development is likely fueled in part by stressful losses and existential suffering. The article suggests that PTG and gerotranscendence may be viewed as two facets of the universal human striving toward self-transcendence or emancipatory knowledge. The critical role of the sociocultural context in personal transformation is also highlighted. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

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(Something interesting I found)Posted:Jul 01 2013, 12:00 AM by brendah
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