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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Following adverse life events, many people report positive changes, sometimes referred to as Benefit Finding (BF). In its most basic sense, we are referring to people’s reports that they have changed meaningful aspects of their lives as a result of a challenging circumstance or illness. This chapter explores the historical roots of BF and highlights the dangers of using imprecise terminology while studying this phenomenon. Next, issues related to the measurement of BF, theories of how BF develops and changes over time, and whether BF is actually associated with better outcomes are reviewed. We also discuss BF interventions and provide a cautionary note about whether encouraging BF might cause more harm than good. The chapter concludes with a surprising recommendation for less, but much more thoughtful and precise, research in this area.

Keywords: Benefit-finding, post-traumatic growth, positive sequelae, positive life changes, personal strength, adversarial growth, stress-related growth

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