Bringing back the body into positive psychology: the theory of corporeal posttraumatic growth in breast cancer survivorship

Article


Hefferon, K. 2012. Bringing back the body into positive psychology: the theory of corporeal posttraumatic growth in breast cancer survivorship. Psychology. 3 (12A), pp. 1238-1242.
AuthorsHefferon, K.
Abstract

Objective: Posttraumatic growth (PTG) is the phenomenon of surpassing levels of functioning than which existed before a traumatic event occurred. The objective of this study was to assess how the body may have had an influence on the facilitation, and as an outcome, of PTG. Methods: 83 female breast cancer survivors, 5 years post cancer diagnosis, were interviewed on their long-term experience of physical ac- tivity engagement. Inductive thematic analysis was used in order to ascertain whether or not there were any serendipitous expressions of posttraumatic growth. Results: 24% (n = 20) of the study mentioned ex- periencing some form of PTG, including both generic and corporeal specific domains. Of those that re- ported PTG, 70% were from the original physical activity intervention group indicating potential links between activity participation during cancer treatment and long term PTG. Discussion: The results sup- port the theoretical viewpoint that recovery from physical illness may have a unique PTG journey in comparison to more cognitive/external sources of trauma. Conclusions: This is the first study to qualita- tively collect longitudinal data from a large and unique sample on the experience of PTG following breast cancer survivorship. Furthermore, the author has coined this new addition of a more embodied experience of PTG, the theory of ‘Corporeal Posttraumatic Growth’ and presents suggestions for future research.

KeywordsPositive Psychology; breast cancer; embodiment
JournalPsychology
Journal citation3 (12A), pp. 1238-1242
ISSN2152-7199
2152-7180
Year2012
PublisherScientific Research
Publisher's version
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/psych.2012.312A183
Publication dates
PrintDec 2012
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Jan 2013
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/85y39

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