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Although extensive research has documented the negative psychiatric consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic,1,2 no study, to our knowledge, has examined whether the pandemic may be associated with positive psychological changes or posttraumatic growth (PTG). In addition to increasing risk for psychiatric illness, traumatic events may also stimulate PTG in the form of increased personal strength and appreciation of life, improved social relationships, spiritual changes, and new possibilities for one’s life.3,4 Posttraumatic growth is associated with better functioning5 and greater resilience to subsequent traumatic events6 in trauma survivors.
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Accepted for Publication: February 16, 2021.
Published: April 8, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.4972
Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2021 Pietrzak RH et al. JAMA Network Open.
Corresponding Author: Robert H. Pietrzak, PhD, MPH, US Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, 950 Campbell Ave, 151E, West Haven, CT 06516 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Author Contributions: Dr Pietrzak had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: All authors.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Pietrzak.
Drafting of the manuscript: Pietrzak.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.
Statistical analysis: Pietrzak.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Pietrzak, Tsai.
Supervision: Pietrzak, Southwick.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Southwick reported receiving royalties from Cambridge University Press for the book Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.
Funding/Support: The National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study is supported by the US Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funding organization had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Additional Contributions: We thank all of the veterans who participated in the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study, and Ipsos staff members who facilitated data collection, particularly Robert Torongo, MA, and Alyssa Marciniak, MA, who were not compensated for their contributions.
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