The trauma literature has until recently abounded in the study of mostly negative reactions. Nevertheless, recent studies on traumatized people have revealed that after the experiencing of a traumatic event, some people psychologically succumb, others may bounce back to their previous state of functioning, while others may experience a better functioning on different dimensions of their life. Our study conducted on 36 cancer patients has focused on the ways people cope with the diagnosis of cancer, and impaired health. We were also interested in their emotional reactions, possible appeal to religiosity, and the way these patients incorporate the meaning of their illness. Our hypothesis is that, people who in the aftermath of being diagnosed with cancer score high on scales regarding meaningfulness of life, and religion, report higher levels of posttraumatic growth, and even if they do experience a considerable amount of negative affectivity are less depressed than other patients.
Keywords: negative posttraumatic reactions, positive posttraumatic reactions, meaning-making, benefit finding, religiosity