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Posttraumatic growth, social acknowledgment as survivors, and sense of coherence in former German child soldiers of World War II.
Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2009 Dec; 17(12):1030-9.AJ

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

To examine posttraumatic growth (PTG) and its predictors social acknowledgment as survivors, sense of coherence (SOC), trauma severity, and further factors in former child soldiers more than 60 years after deployment.

DESIGN

Cross-sectional.

SETTING

University-based geropsychiatric center in Germany.

PARTICIPANTS

One hundred three former German child soldiers of World War II, mean age 78 years in which 96% experienced at least one war trauma.

MEASUREMENT

Subjects completed the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory, Social Acknowledgment Questionnaire (SAQ), and SOC Scale. Trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were assessed by the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale. Depression, anxiety, and somatization were assessed using the Brief Symptom Inventory.

RESULTS

Number of traumas, recognition by significant others, and general disapproval as facets of social acknowledgment as a survivor, and meaningfulness as a dimension of SOC correlated significantly with PTG. In a multiple hierarchical regression analysis, recognition as a survivor by significant others (SAQ) and meaningfulness (SOC) remained the only significant predictors of PTG.

CONCLUSION

Social acknowledgment as a survivor by significant others and the belief that the world is meaningful are among the most important factors contributing to PTG. Further research should investigate whether treatments of PTSD in people who experienced war traumas recently or many years ago might benefit from a focus on the belief system and the role of family and social support.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Division of Psychopathology and Clinical Intervention, Department of Psychology, University of Zurich, Switzerland. s.forstmeier@psychologie.uzh.chNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

20104060

Citation

Forstmeier, Simon, et al. "Posttraumatic Growth, Social Acknowledgment as Survivors, and Sense of Coherence in Former German Child Soldiers of World War II." The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry : Official Journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, vol. 17, no. 12, 2009, pp. 1030-9.
Forstmeier S, Kuwert P, Spitzer C, et al. Posttraumatic growth, social acknowledgment as survivors, and sense of coherence in former German child soldiers of World War II. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2009;17(12):1030-9.
Forstmeier, S., Kuwert, P., Spitzer, C., Freyberger, H. J., & Maercker, A. (2009). Posttraumatic growth, social acknowledgment as survivors, and sense of coherence in former German child soldiers of World War II. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry : Official Journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 17(12), 1030-9. https://doi.org/10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181ab8b36
Forstmeier S, et al. Posttraumatic Growth, Social Acknowledgment as Survivors, and Sense of Coherence in Former German Child Soldiers of World War II. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2009;17(12):1030-9. PubMed PMID: 20104060.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Posttraumatic growth, social acknowledgment as survivors, and sense of coherence in former German child soldiers of World War II. AU - Forstmeier,Simon, AU - Kuwert,Philipp, AU - Spitzer,Carsten, AU - Freyberger,Harald J, AU - Maercker,Andreas, PY - 2010/1/28/entrez PY - 2010/1/28/pubmed PY - 2010/2/25/medline SP - 1030 EP - 9 JF - The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry JO - Am J Geriatr Psychiatry VL - 17 IS - 12 N2 - OBJECTIVES: To examine posttraumatic growth (PTG) and its predictors social acknowledgment as survivors, sense of coherence (SOC), trauma severity, and further factors in former child soldiers more than 60 years after deployment. DESIGN: Cross-sectional. SETTING: University-based geropsychiatric center in Germany. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred three former German child soldiers of World War II, mean age 78 years in which 96% experienced at least one war trauma. MEASUREMENT: Subjects completed the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory, Social Acknowledgment Questionnaire (SAQ), and SOC Scale. Trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were assessed by the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale. Depression, anxiety, and somatization were assessed using the Brief Symptom Inventory. RESULTS: Number of traumas, recognition by significant others, and general disapproval as facets of social acknowledgment as a survivor, and meaningfulness as a dimension of SOC correlated significantly with PTG. In a multiple hierarchical regression analysis, recognition as a survivor by significant others (SAQ) and meaningfulness (SOC) remained the only significant predictors of PTG. CONCLUSION: Social acknowledgment as a survivor by significant others and the belief that the world is meaningful are among the most important factors contributing to PTG. Further research should investigate whether treatments of PTSD in people who experienced war traumas recently or many years ago might benefit from a focus on the belief system and the role of family and social support. SN - 1545-7214 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/20104060/Posttraumatic_growth_social_acknowledgment_as_survivors_and_sense_of_coherence_in_former_German_child_soldiers_of_World_War_II_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/00019442-200912000-00006 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -