Communal Coping and Posttraumatic Growth in a Context of Natural Disasters in Spain, Chile, and Colombia

Anna Wlodarczyk, Nekane Basabe, Dario Páez, Carlos Reyes, Loreto Villagrán, Camilo Madariaga, Jorge Palacio, Francisco Martínez

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39 Scopus citations


© 2016, © 2016 SAGE Publications. The aim of this study was to identify communal coping strategies that enhance posttraumatic growth of individuals, communities, and societies in the context of natural disasters. Participants were 540 people affected by floods in Colombia and by earthquakes in Spain and Chile. Posttraumatic growth was assessed at individual, community, and society levels. Direct and indirect relationships between trauma intensity and posttraumatic growth were analyzed to identify and evaluate the mediating role played by communal coping strategies. Growth and communal coping were reported in all nations, but means for posttraumatic growth at all three levels and communal coping were higher in the relatively more collectivistic countries, Colombia and Chile, than in the relatively more individualistic Spain. Spiritual coping was more frequent in the two Latin American nations, but it also predicted growth even in more secularized Spain. Social support was similar in Spain and Chile, and higher in Colombia, and played a more important mediating role in Spain. Globally, our results confirmed that communal coping strategies and participation in collective gatherings are antecedent of posttraumatic growth not only at individual but also at communal level and in different cultural contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-355
Number of pages31
JournalCross-Cultural Research
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


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