Background: Perceived growth (PG) refers to perceptions of positive changes that unfold over time after experiencing trauma. Higher PG is often associated with positive long-term health, but the processes through which PG may influence health are unclear. The present study examines two potential pathways among individuals living with asthma or RA: (1) by promoting momentary indicators of health and well-being in everyday life, and (2) by buffering against stress. Method: In a micro-longitudinal design, 128 participants with asthma (n = 97) or rheumatoid arthritis (n = 31) reported perceived growth using the Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG) Inventory and subsequently completed ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) for one week. Participants were signaled five times a day to report on health-related indicators, including affect, disease interference, social interactions, and stress. Results: Multilevel modeling revealed that higher PTG was associated with significantly less negative affect and greater positive affect in everyday life. There were no significant associations between PTG and momentary disease interference, pleasantness of social interactions, or stress, nor evidence that PTG buffered against effects of stress on health-related outcomes. Conclusions: This research highlights the utility of examining PG in everyday life. Results suggest that closer examination of momentary affect as a process by which PG may facilitate positive health outcomes is warranted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology