Reliving a traumatic experience through emotional creativity: the bright side of cancer during the COVID-19 pandemicJudith PARTOUCHE-SEBBAN, Saeedeh REZAEE VESSAL, Francesco SCHIAVONE
Purpose – The COVID-19 outbreak has undoubtedly affected overall mental health. Thus, researching
resilience is important, as it has been previously discussed as a means to protect people from mental health
problems. This study aims to clarify whether survivors of a traumatic event (i.e. cancer survivors) are more
resilient to living through another traumatic experience, such as COVID-19, compared to those who have never
had such an experience. The study also examines the role of emotional creativity in this process.
Design/methodology/approach – A quantitative research design was adopted. The data collection was
performed through a survey (N5338), which was conducted among two separate groups of participants. The
first group (N 5 152) included the survivors of a traumatic event (i.e. cancer survivors), and the second group
(N 5 186) included those who did not have such an experience.
Findings – The results demonstrate that living through a traumatic experience results in a higher level of
resilience during another traumatic experience (i.e. COVID-19), which is the result of higher post-traumatic
growth. Moreover, emotional creativity is discussed as an explanatory variable that explains a significantly
higher level of post-traumatic growth among survivors of a traumatic event.
Originality/value – This research offers a better understanding of the effect of living through a traumatic event on
post-traumatic growth and resilience in living through another traumatic experience. Moreover, post-traumatic
growth is explained through emotional creativity improvement, which happens after experiencing a traumaticlife event.