The long-term effects of World War II combat exposure on later life well-being moderated by generativity

Monika Ardelt, Scott D. Landes, George E. Vaillant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

According to theories of stress-related growth, coping with traumatic events can lead to greater psychosocial maturity in resilient individuals or psychosocial maladjustment in less resilient individuals. Using a sample of 160 World War II veterans of the 60-year longitudinal Study of Adult Development, this research examined the long-term effects of high and no combat exposure among Harvard-educated white men who either achieved or failed to achieve Erikson's psychosocial developmental stage of generativity in midlife. Although combat exposure by itself was unrelated to the outcome variables, only among veterans with high combat exposure was generativity consistently positively related to physical and psychological health, wisdom characteristics, and well-being. The results indicate a resilience effect for men with high combat exposure who experienced subsequent psychosocial growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-220
Number of pages19
JournalResearch in Human Development
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The long-term effects of World War II combat exposure on later life well-being moderated by generativity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this