Distinguishing post-traumatic growth from psychological adjustment among Rwandan genocide survivors

Laura E. R. Blackie, Eranda Jayawickreme, Nicki Hitchcott, Stephen Joseph

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Research into post-traumatic growth describes the potentially transformative and positive impact that highly challenging and traumatic life experiences can have on an individual’s identity, relationships and worldviews. The positive changes individuals identify in the aftermath of challenging circumstances are theorised to be more than fleeting positive illusions, and instead represent enduring character development. However, a central debate in this literature is whether post-traumatic growth is really more than psychological adjustment to a difficult post-trauma reality. In this chapter, we draw upon testimonial data from a sample of survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda to differentiate these two processes. This population provides a relevant context with which to evaluate this question, as the severity of the genocide made adjustment to post-genocide life a tragic necessity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVarieties of Virtue Ethics
EditorsDavid Carr, James Arthur, Kristján Kristjánsson
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)9781137591777
ISBN (Print)9781137591760
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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