Citation Grayson H (2018) Articulating Growth in Rwandan Terms: Adapting the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. Studies in Testimony, 1 (1), pp. 4-30. https://studiesintestimony.co.uk/issues/volume-one-issue-one/articulating-growth-in-rwandan-terms/
Abstract During a horrific period of violence in 1994, over one million Rwandans were killed. The Genocide against the Tutsi left a legacy of trauma and pain and destroyed the social fabric of Rwanda, which would take huge efforts to reconstruct. Alongside suffering on a huge scale, researchers have found evidence in testimonies of positive growth in individual Rwandans’ stories since 1994. Yet these stories of growth have received little attention. How is individual growth best articulated in Rwanda today, and how is it best understood by scholars and practitioners around the world?
This article explores how psychological frameworks might be mediated for understanding contemporary Rwandan stories, taking into account pervasive narratives and cultural influences. Giving testimony can form part of the process of meaning-making that happens after the shattering effects of trauma, and can create space for individuals to describe positive psychological and social adjustments they have made. This article builds on research into survivor and perpetrator testimonies to explore the contextual correlates of post-traumatic growth in Rwanda. The framework of post-traumatic growth (PTG) provides a helpful lens for examining changes in personal strength, relating to others, and appreciation of life. Yet the Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory (used to measure PTG) has not been adapted for a Rwandan context and needs to account for culture- and language-specific influences on understanding and expressing growth. What affects the semantics and politics of expressing individual psychological change? And how are such models to be adapted to help individuals describe growth in Rwandan terms?