Fruits of trauma? Posttraumatic growth among suicide-bereaved parents

Melinda M. Moore, Julie Cerel, David A. Jobes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background: While there is evidence that suicide-bereaved individuals may be at higher risk for trauma-related outcomes, such as posttraumatic stress disorder or prolonged grief, positive psychology suggests that suicide bereavement may also promote personal growth within the confines of distress characterized as posttraumatic growth (PTG). Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate PTG and what variables, such as reflective rumination, resilience, personality variables, and mood states, contribute to PTG among suicide-bereaved parents. Method: Online survey methods were employed using a convenience sample of 154 parents bereaved by the suicide death of their child within 2 years. Results: Multiple regression analyses revealed that resilience inversely predicted PTG scores, but reflective rumination did not predict PTG. PTG scores were in the low-moderate range and were lower than those of parents bereaved by other causes of death. Items endorsed most strongly corresponded to the PTG factors Relating to Others, Spiritual Change, and Appreciation of Life. Conclusion: In this study, PTG manifests among suicide-bereaved parents, but may be complicated by the proximity to the death and by concurrent brooding and reflective rumination unique to answering the question of "why" in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-248
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015


  • Positive psychology
  • Posttraumatic growth
  • Suicide
  • Suicide bereavement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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