COVID-19 presented a major societal challenge including threat to life, bereavement, self isolation, loss of income and significant psychological distress. Yet, it is possible that such suffering may also lead to post-traumatic growth (PTG) and subsequent wellbeing. The current study aimed to investigate the contributors to PTG and whether PTG mediated their relationship with wellbeing, measured using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale. In a cross-sectional sample of 136 participants (mean age = 30.52; SD = 13.80), a hierarchical regression and mediation analysis was conducted, focusing on physical activity, gratitude, tragic optimism, social support, and nature connection, guided by our recently published ‘GENIAL’ framework (Mead, Fisher, & Kemp, 2021). The regression analysis highlighted that our variables predicted up to 18% of the variance in PTG, whilst controlling for age, gender and subjective social status, with gratitude and nature connection being key predictors – indicating the importance of these factors over and above previously reported contributors to PTG, such as social support. Our findings provide new evidence on the drivers of PTG and raise important questions concerning the relationship between the related constructs of PTG and wellbeing. Limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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