Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Lennis Echterling

Amanda Evans

Robin Anderson


The 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic has spurred a major global crisis. Collective trauma is inevitable. Compared to posttraumatic stress, relatively little research has been conducted on posttraumatic growth. This study examined the associations between individualism-collectivism, coping behaviors, and posttraumatic growth in the context of COVID-19. A total of 314 adult participants were recruited to complete a questionnaire on COVID-19 experiences, individualism-collectivism, coping, and posttraumatic growth. Posttraumatic growth was measured globally and across five factors: relating to others, personal strength, new possibilities, appreciation of life, and spirituality. A t-test found no difference in global posttraumatic growth in participants who were primarily individualistic and those who were primarily collectivistic. A one-way multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) also found no differences in the average values of factors of posttraumatic growth between participants who scored primarily individualistic and those who scored primarily collectivistic. A one-way MANOVA found that there were no significant differences in frequency of use of coping behaviors between primarily individualistic and primarily collectivistic participants. A Pearson correlation analysis found multiple significant positive correlations between the frequency of use of several coping behaviors, factors of posttraumatic growth, and global posttraumatic growth. The coping behaviors with positive correlations were active coping, planning, positive reframing, humor, religion, emotional support, instrumental support, self-distraction, denial, venting, substance use, and self-blame. The strengths of these correlations with global posttraumatic growth ranged from weak to moderate. The strengths of these correlations with factors of posttraumatic growth ranged from weak to strong. Implications for the counseling field and allied professions are discussed.


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