Experiencing highly stressful events may lead not only to the development of different forms of clinically significant disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.), but to recovery and growth as well. Regardless the huge amount of research within the domain of "negative" and "positive" reactions to stress, the underlying mechanisms that modulate the different reactions and their dynamic has not yet been totally elucidated. Nevertheless, meaning systems have been repeatedly found to play a major role in the denouement of stress-induced reactions. This present research is mostly interested in the investigation of the relationship between global meaning systems and the propensity of stress-affected individuals towards more adaptive or maladaptive reactions. Accordingly, we have appealed to proverbs in order to tap the underlying meaning systems (as "life-mottos") in diabetic patients by using Q methodology. Finally, the results revealed by the Q methodology have been analyzed together with those obtained from self-report assessments, thus offering a more complete picture of the investigated issue.
KEYWORDS: stress-related growth, meaning-making, global meaning system, proverbs, Q methodology