As shown in the models of PTG, event related factors such as perceived severity and how recently the event occurred have also been found to be related with the development of PTG.
Tedeschi and Calhoun (2004) suggested that the more severe the event, the more growth will be experienced. Several studies in the literature supported this finding (Kesimci, Göral, & Gençöz, 2005; Solomon & Dekel, 2007; Feder, Southwick, Goetz, Wang, Alonso, Smith, Buchholz, Waldeck, Ameli, Moore, Hain, Charney, & Vythilingam, 2008; Morris & Shakespeare-Finch, 2011). Consistent with the literature, in their study conducted with university students, Kesimci et al. (2005) found a positive relationship between perceived severity of the traumatic event and stress-related growth. Similarly, Dirik and Karanci (2008) in their study performed with rheumatoid arthritis patients reported that perception of higher disease severity was associated with higher perception of growth in the self domain of PTG. In order to investigate this relationship in traffic accident survivors, Zoellner, Rabe, Karl, and Maercker (2008) conducted a research study with 102 survivors and found that both objective and subjective severity of the event were positively related to the total PTG score and higher subjective severity was significantly associated with higher scores in new possibilities, relating to others, and spiritual change domains of PTG. Likewise, the majority of the accident perpetrators with an injury, were in the high PTG group of the study conducted by Merecz et al. (2012). The findings of the study conducted with accidentally injured individuals in China, also revealed that the subjective accident severity positively predicted PTG (Dong et al., 2015).
How recently the traumatic event occurred also seems to be an important variable in the development of PTG (Schaefer & Moos, 1992). However, the results of the studies on the relationship between the timing of the event and PTG seem to have lead to contradictory findings.
A study conducted with breast cancer survivors revealed that the time since the diagnosis of the disease was negatively related to PTG (Weiss, 2004). On the contrary, the results of the study conducted with road trauma survivors showed that the passage of time after the event contributed to the growth perceptions (Harms & Talbot, 2007). Furthermore, Zoellner et al. (2008) indicated that the timing of the accident was not found to be significantly related to the total PTG, but it was positively related to the new possibilities and personal strength domains.