Finding Meaning in Crisis: Gender, Spiritual Practice, and Trauma Symptomology Impact Posttraumatic Growth in COVID-19 Ghana
Keywords:posttraumatic growth, trauma, meaning making, spirituality, Ghana, COVID-19
Trauma is a growing public health concern and can result in significant adverse psychological outcomes. As global crises increase, there is a need to more fully understand factors that may inform culturally responsive post-trauma interventions. Research indicates that meaning-making facilitates posttraumatic growth (PTG), which can help encourage psychological growth amidst traumatic events. PTG models posit that meaning can be found in surviving a traumatic event. Spirituality, a key component of individual and community culture in Ghana, has been associated with increased well-being and reduced psychological distress. Therefore, spirituality should be considered in the context of trauma and psychological health in Ghana. Data was collected during the COVID-19 pandemic from four diverse locations in Ghana. We investigated theistic, ritualistic, and existential spirituality, and search for meaning and presence of meaning. Results indicate that spirituality, search for meaning, and trauma symptoms predict PTG. Both trauma symptomology and PTG were higher for women. Additionally, marriage and education were protective factors for women. Interventions and community-based programs that foster meaning-making through spiritual-based programming may be part of an effective culturally specific approach for enhancing community-wide PTG and resilience during and following adverse events. This study contributes theoretical, methodological, and cultural knowledge to clinical practice and research, highlighting a traditional cultural perspective in Ghana that can be applied to other sub-Saharan African countries.
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Copyright (c) 2024 Dr. Erinn C. Cameron, Dr. Loren Toussaint, Dr. Baffour Adjei, Dr. Jennifer N. Crawford, Olivia Mounet, M.A., Fiona Trend-Cunningham, M.Ed., M.A., Dr. Kristine M. Jacquin
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.