Predictors of Posttraumatic Growth in Adults Bereaved by Suicide

Christopher W. Drapeau, Jennifer D. Lockman, Melinda M. Moore, Julie Cerel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Although suicide loss has been associated with several negative outcomes, numerous studies have shown that loss survivors can experience posttraumatic growth (PTG) following the suicide loss of a significant other. However, few studies have explored the mechanisms of such growth. Aims: The aim of this study was to identify predictors of PTG among a sample of adult suicide loss survivors and to explore whether the amount of time since the suicide loss moderated the relation between self-reported coping and PTG. Method: Suicide-bereaved adults (n = 307) completed online questionnaires measuring personality, coping, help-seeking attitudes, social support, and PTG. Results: Hierarchical regression analyses showed five independent associations with PTG: time since loss, perceived closeness, help-seeking attitudes, social support, and problem-focused coping. Time since loss did not moderate the relation between any of the self-reported coping styles and PTG. Limitations: The limitations of this study include a cross-sectional design, potential selection bias, no comparison or control group, and unrepresentative sample demographics of suicide loss survivors. Conclusion: Problem-focused coping showed the strongest association with PTG, independent of time since loss, suggesting that this coping style may facilitate growth throughout the grief trajectory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-202
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2019


  • bereavement
  • coping
  • posttraumatic growth
  • social support
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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