Self-report questionnaires

Here are short descriptions of some of the main self-report questionnaire measures that have been used by scientists to empirically assess adversarial growth. We provide references to the journal articles for researchers interested in using the scales in their own studies.

The Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI)

This is a 21-item self-report questionnaire that asks participants to rate the extent to which they have changed as the result of experiencing highly stressful life event. Participants are asked to report on positive changes in five domains; relating to others, new possibilities, personal strength, spiritual change, and appreciation of life.

  1. Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (1996). The posttraumatic growth inventory: Measuring the positive legacy of trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 9, 455-471.

The Posttraumatic Growth Inventory – Short Form (PTGI-SF)

This is a 10-item self-report questionnaire that reduces the length of the original PTGI. The scale contains two items for each the five domains (as outlined above).

  1. Cann, A., Calhoun, L. G., Tedeschi, R. G., Taku, K., Vishnevsky, T., Triplett, K. N., & Danhauer, S. C. (2010). A short form of the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. Anxiety, Stress & Coping, 23, 127-137.

The Posttraumatic Growth Inventory for Children Revised (PTGI-C-R)

This is a 10-item questionnaire that assesses the five domains of posttraumatic growth using language and a response style that is appropriate for pre-adolescent children.

  1. Kilmer, R. P., Gil-Rivas, V., Tedeschi, R. G., Cann, A., Calhoun, L. G., Buchanan, T., & Taku, K. (2009). Use of the revised posttraumatic growth inventory for children. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 22, 248-253.

The Psychological Well-Being – Posttraumatic Changes Questionnaire (PWB-PTCQ)

This is an 18-item self-report questionnaire that asks participants to rate the extent to which they have changed in six domains of psychological well-being as the result of experiencing a highly stressful life event. The six domains are self-acceptance, autonomy, purpose in life, relationships, sense of mastery, and personal growth.

  1. Joseph, S., Maltby, J., Wood, A. M., Stockton, H., Hunt, N., & Regel, S. (2011). The psychological well-being – Posttraumatic changes questionnaire (PWB-PTCQ): Reliability and validity. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 15, 1-9.

The Changes in Outlook Questionnaire (CiOQ)

This is a 28-item self-report questionnaire that asks participants to rate the extent to which they have experienced both positive and negative changes as a result of experiencing a highly stressful event.

  1. Joseph, S., Williams, R, & Yule, W. (1993). Changes in outlook following disaster: The preliminary development of a measure to assess positive and negative responses. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 6, 271-279.

The Stress-Related Growth Scale (SRGS)

This is a 50-item self-report questionnaire that asks participants to rate the extent to which they have experienced positive changes as a result of a stressful life event in the following three domains; personal resources, social relationships, and coping skills.

  1. Park, C. L., Cohen, L.H., & Murch, R. L. (1996). Assessment and prediction of stress-related growth. Journal of Personality, 64, 71-105.

The Perceived Benefits Scale

This is a 30-item self-report questionnaire that asks participants to rate the extent to which they have experienced positive changes as a result of experiencing a stressful life event in eight domains; lifestyle changes, material gain, self-efficacy, family closeness, community closeness, faith in people, compassion, and spirituality.

  1. McMillen, J. C., & Fisher, R. (1998). The perceived benefits scale: Measuring perceived positive life changes following negative events. Social Work Research, 22, 173-187.

The Benefit Finding Scale (BFS)

This self-report questionnaire was designed to assess the extent to which women reported perceiving positive benefits as a result of diagnosis with breast cancer. There have been several different versions of this questionnaire; therefore we refer the reader to a few relevant journal articles and to Dr. Charles Carver’s website for further information.

  1. Tomich, P. L., & Helgeson, V. S. (2004). Is finding something good in the bad always good? Benefit finding among women with breast cancer. Health Psychology, 23, 16-23.
  2. Antoni, M. H., Lehman, J. M., Kilbourn, K. M., Boyers, A. E., Culver, J. L., Alferi, S. M., Yount, S. E., McGregor, B. A., Arena, P. L., Harris, S. D., Price, A. A., & Carver, C. S. (2001). Cognitive-behavioral stress management intervention decreases the prevalence of depression and enhances benefit finding among women under treatment for early-stage breast cancer. Health Psychology, 20, 20-32.
  1. Carver, C. S., & Antoni, M. H. (2004). Finding benefit in breast cancer during the year after diagnosis predicts better adjustment 5 to 8 years after diagnosis. Health Psychology, 26, 595-598.

The Benefit Finding Scale for Children (BFSC)

This is a 10-item questionnaire that assesses positive benefit finding after a stressful life event using language and a response style that is appropriate for pre-adolescent children.

  1. Phipps, S., Long, A. M., & Ogden, J. (2007). Benefit finding scale for children: preliminary findings from a childhood cancer population. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 32, 1264-1271.

The Personal Growth Initiative Scale-II (PGIS-II)

The PGIS is 16-item self-report questionnaire that measures a person’s active and intentional involvement in changing and developing.

  1. Robitschek, C., Ashton, M. W., Spering, C. C., Geiger, N., Byers, D., Schotts, C. G., & Thoen, M. A. (2012). Development and psychometric evaluation of the personal growth initiative scale-II. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59, 274-287.

The Silver Lining Questionnaire (SLQ-38)

This is a 38-item scale developed based narrative interviews with individuals who had perceived positive benefits from their experience with a serious illness. Participants are asked to think about their illness and rate the extent to which they agree or disagree with each statement (e.g., “my illness made me more at ease with others”).

  1. Sodergren, S. C., & Hyland, M. E. (2000). What are the positive consequences of illness? Psychology and Health, 15, 85-97.
  2. Bride, O. M. C., Dunwoody, L., Lowe-Strong, A., & Kennedy, S. M. (2008). Examining adversarial growth in illness the factor structure of the silver lining questionnaire. Psychology and Health, 23, 661-678.

The Thriving Scale (TS)

This is a 20-item questionnaire that asks participants to rate the extent to which they have experienced positive change because of their experience with a serious illness. Participants rate the extent of positive change they have experienced in eight domains; appreciation of family, life, and friends, positive attitude, personal strength, enhanced spirituality, empathy, and patience.

  1. Abraido-Lanza, A. F., Guier, C., & Colon, M. R. (1998). Psychological thriving among Latinas with chronic illness. Journal of Social Issues, 54, 405-428.