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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Extreme environments pose serious danger to human well-being and even survival, an effect that can be exacerbated if the environment is novel (unusual) either to the individual or compared with “normal” environments. In many cases, such environments are deliberately sought out; in others, the individual chooses to encounter situations that have a probability of turning dangerous; in yet others, the extreme environment is entered accidentally or as the result of natural or anthropogenic disaster. For well over a century, the psychological literature has focused on the adverse characteristics and effects of such experiences, but in recent decades observers and researchers have come to be more appreciative of human resilience and coping, and of the positive aspects and consequences of extreme environments.

Keywords: environmental challenge, trauma, resilience, coping, salutogenesis, PTSD, post-traumatic growth

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