- Adaptive growth following terrorism: vigilance and anger as facilitators of posttraumatic growth in the aftermath of the Bali bombings
- McCormack, Lynne; McKellar, Lorren
- Traumatology Vol. 21, Issue 2, p. 71-81
- Publisher Link
- American Psychological Association
- Resource Type
- journal article
- Although exposure to the heinous nature of terrorism can result in psychological distress, fear and horror, it may also bring positive change and psychological growth in individuals, communities and society as a whole. A qualitative longitudinal case study at two and seven years post exposure to the Bali Bombing of 2005 used Interpretative Phenomenological analysis to explore an individual's subjective 'lived' experiences. The overarching theme, vigilance and anger: growthful adaptation to terrorism reflected the positive use of vigilance and anger for redefining 'self' following a terrorist-related traumatic event inclusive of an ongoing personal risk assessment that recognised the possibility of future terrorist attacks. Four subordinate themes: violent interruption, grief and disconnection, struggling for meaning, and growth through anger and vigilance, encapsulated a momentary and life changing violent personal catastrophe, and the relational and existential challenges that followed. Vigilance and anger, responses normally recognised as aspects of distress following trauma, appeared to be adaptive over time for the integration of distress and growth in a world where the threat of terrorism remains constant. The role of justifiable anger and ongoing vigilance in a new world order inclusive of terrorism and in the absence of other psychopathology, has implications for therapy.
- Bali bombings; complex trauma; interpretive phenomenological analysis; post traumatic growth; terrorism
- This article may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
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