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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology