Background: Posttraumatic growth is the positive change resulting from traumatic experiences and is typically assessed with retrospective measures like the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI). The PTGI was designed to include reference to a specific traumatic event, making it difficult to implement, without change, in prospective survey studies. Thus, a modified Posttraumatic Growth Inventory-Short Form (PTGI-SF) was included in a large prospective study of current and former U.S. military personnel. The current study provides preliminary psychometric data for this modified measure and its ability to assess psychological well-being at a single time point. Methods: The study population (N = 135,843) was randomly and equally split into exploratory and confirmatory samples that were proportionately balanced on trauma criterion. Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were performed to assess the psychometric validity of the modified measure. The final model was also assessed in a subset of the confirmatory sample with a history of trauma using CFA. Results: Results supported a single-factor model with two additional correlations between items assessing spirituality and items assessing compassion/appreciation for others. This model also fits among the subset with a history of trauma. The resulting measure was strongly associated with social support and personal mastery. Conclusions: The modified PTGI-SF in this study captures psychological well-being in cross-sectional assessments, in addition to being able to measure posttraumatic growth with multiple assessments. Results indicate that the modified measure is represented by a single factor, but that items assessing spirituality and compassion/appreciation for others may be used alone to better capture these constructs.
- Posttraumatic Growth Inventory
- Psychological well-being