Sample Article Review on Post-Traumatic Growth

Post-Traumatic Growth from the Perspective of Terror Management Theory

            This article talks about post –traumatic growth from the perspective of terror management theory. TMT argues that although human beings have intellectual abilities that enable them to survive, these abilities have enabled them to understand that one day they will die. According to TMT, self-esteem refers to the belief that an individual leads a life that is up to his society or cultural expectations. Trauma and loss experiences remind an individual about his own mortality (Davis & McKearney, 2001, p. 3).

Sampling and questionnaire method were used to carry out several studies for instance, they used in carrying out a study about loss/trauma as a mortality manipulation. The results of these studies indicate that making individuals to write about their personal trauma and loss experiences makes them to realize that life has a meaning (Davis & McKearney, 2001, p. 3).

The terror management theory also suggests that if an individual is in a position to defend himself the anxiety of death and threats to an individual’s world perceptions, then one should come up with a conclusion that indeed life is meaningful. One of the strength of this article is that it suggests that reports of gains because of trauma or loss serve the function of upholding the belief that life is significant is not an indicator that individuals are deluding themselves. Additionally, if an individual affirms the validity of his own world perception with respect to trauma or loss, individuals will be planting seeds that will enable them to have a positive perception about the world (Davis & McKearney, 2001, p. 7).

However, this article also has various limitations for instance, a study carried out using control participants indicated that they were in a similar condition like those in the trauma –recall group of the first study. There is a possibility that these people were using the life meaningfulness scale to determine the threat. This is something that their counterparts in the mortality salience were not in a position to do because they were caught up defending against the salience against the anxiety of death.



Davis, C.G & McKearney, J. M. (2001). Post-Traumatic Growth from the Perspective of Terror Management Theory.