The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in widespread anxiety, fear and depression, yet focussing only on these negative issues may obscure the opportunity to promote positivity and resilience. Traumatic events can often result in positive life changes (termed adversarial growth) though there is little evidence in the context of pandemics, and no previous studies in Covid-19 with the general public. The present research investigated whether adversarial growth was perceived in Covid-19 and whether this could account for variance in wellbeing, over and above effects of personality traits. Participants recruited from the UK public (N = 183) completed the Big Five Personality Inventory, the WHO-5 Wellbeing Scale and the Silver Lining Questionnaire (SLQ) a measure of adversarial growth. Questionnaires were completed online, at two timepoints, nine months apart. Wellbeing was related negatively to trait neuroticism and positively to openness to experience at Time 1, and both associations were positively mediated by SLQ score. At Time 2, SLQ score again mediated the effects of openness on wellbeing, and also the influence of wellbeing at Time 1 on that at Time 2. Reported Silver Linings included strengthened personal relationships at Time 1, and improved ability to handle life events at Time 2. This suggests a shift from an appreciation of relationships to an awareness of personal development once life returned to some semblance of normality. Overall, results suggest that perceived adversarial growth supported wellbeing during the pandemic and highlights a focus for therapeutic intervention.



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Psychological Reports



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School of Psychology