This learning resource is for introducing and explaining the concept of psychological resilience and for researchers to discuss investigations of resilience.
See also: Psychological resilience (Wikipedia)
Resilience, as one’s ability to “bounce back” (Smith et al., 2008).
The etymology is from the Latin word resile which translates to bounce or spring back (Oxford Dictionary, 2004). This definition views resilience as a process of returning to normal function after a stressful event.
Reslience can be differentiated from “thriving”, which involves decreased reactivity to stressors, quicker recovery from subsequent stressors and/or a higher maintained level of functioning (Carver, 1998; O’Leary & Ickovics, 1995).
Resilience has been related to other positive personal traits such as hardiness, mental toughness and self-efficacy. Hardiness is defined as a combination of commitment, control and challenge, managed by turning a stressful circumstance into an opportunity for growth (Kobasa, 1979; Maddi, 2002). Mental toughness is defined as disciplined thinking and a response to pressure that allows the individual to stay relaxed, calm and energised (Clough, Earle, & Sewell, 2002; Loehr, 1986). Self-efficacy develops via mastering experiences through perseverance and overcoming obstacles with sustained efforts (Carr, 2004). This leads to knowledge of one’s own boundaries and limitations (Bandura, 1997). These characteristics contribute to and are supported by resilience (Bonanno, 2004), however, are not included in the definition of resilience as they cloud its simplicity and clarity (Smith et al., 2008).
There are a variety of options for measuring the resiliency of an individual, a family, a classroom, a school, community or organisation.
This paper reviews 19 resilience instruments:
- Windle, G., Bennett, Noyes, J. (2011). A methodological review of resilience measurement scales, Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 9(8). doi: 10.1186/1477-7525-9-8
Free and open source measures
- 10-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC; Connor & Davidson, 2003)
- 25-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RIsc)
- 30-item Bharathiar University Resilience Scale (BURS; Annalakshmi, 2009)
Proprietary, at-cost measure
- Resilience Scale (Wagnild & Young, 1993)
- Resiliency Initiatives, has developed a resiliency assessment for three age groups:
- 8 - 12 (written at the level of English comprehension skills of a North American Grade 3 student)
- 13 - 18 (written at the level of English comprehension skills of a North American Grade 3 student)
- 19 and up. (written at the level of English comprehension skills of a North American Grade 5 student).
Designed and developed by Dr. Wayne Hammond and his associates at Resiliency Initiatives in Aberta Canada.
Indicators of resilience
- Use mind-calming and restorative activities.
- Continually undertake challenges to experience and learn new things.
- View future with optimism and hope.
- Emphasise positive (optimistic) thinking over negative (pessimistic) thinking
- Persist in pursuit of important goals.
- Choose actions consistent with deeply held values
- Experience a sense of purpose in life.
True or false?
- One's level of resilience is fixed - it cannot be changed. (False)
- Resilient people do not experience stress. (False)
- Resilient tends to increase with age. (True)
- Adversity improves resilience. (Neither true or false - it can go either way - adversity can increase or decrease resilience. And, whilst a healthy experience of resilience can be a very effective way to enhance resilience, there are also other ways to improve resilience.)
- Psychological resilience (Book chapter)
- Coping (psychology)
- Post-traumatic growth
- Psychological therapy
- Psychological well-being
- Family resilience (Wikipedia)
- Affleck, G. & Tennen, H. (1996). Construing benefit from adversity: Adaptational significance and dispositional underpinnings. Journal of Personality, 64, 899-922.
- Ahern, N. R., Kiehl, E. M., Sole, M. L., & Byers, J. (2006). A review of instruments measuring resilience. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 29, 103-125.
- Campbell-Sills, L. & Stein, M. B. (2007). Psychometric analysis and refinement of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC): Validation of a 10-item measure of resilience. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 20, 1019-1028.
- Connor, K. M. & Davison, J. R. T. (2003). Development of a new resilience scale: The Connor-Davidson resilience scale (CD-RISC). Depression and Anxiety, 18, 76-82.
- Earvolino-Ramirez, M. (2007). Resilience: A concept analysis. Nursing Forum, 42, 73-82.
- Lukey, B. J., & Tepe, V. (2008). Biobehavioural resilience to stress. London: CRC Press.
- Luthar, S. S., Cicchetti, D., & Becker, B. (2000). The construct of resilience: A critical evaluation and guidelines for future work. Child Development, 71, 543-562.
- Luthar, S. S., & Cushing, G. (1999). Measurement issues in the empirical study of resilience: An overview. In J. L. Johnson & M. D. Glantz (Eds.), Resilience and development: Positive life adaptations (pp. 510-549). New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Ong, A. D., Bergeman, C. S., Wallace, K. A., & Bisconti, T. L. (2006). Psychological resilience, positive emotions, and successful adaptation to stress in later life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(4), 730-749.
- O'Leary, V. E., & Ickvoics, J. R. (1995). Resilience and thriving in response to challenge: An opportunity for a paradigm shift in women's health. Women's Health: Research on Gender, Behavior, and Policy, 1, 121-142.
- Park, C., Choen, L. H., & Murch, R. (1996). Assessment and prediction of stress related growth. Journal of Personality, 64, 71-105.
- Tolan, P. T. (1996). How resilient is the concept of resilience? The Community Psychologist, 29, 12-15.
- Tugade, M. M. & Fredrickson, B. L. (2004). Resilient individuals use positive emotions to bounce back from negative emotional experiences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 320-333.
- Tusaie, K. & Dyer, J. (2004). Resilience: A historical review of the construct. Holistic Nursing Practice, 18(1), 3-8.
- Vaishnavi, S., Connor, K., & Davidsona, J. R. T.(2007). An abbreviated version of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC), the CD-RISC2: Psychometric properties and applications in psychopharmacological trials. Psychiatry Research, 30, 152(2-3), 293–297.
- Wald, J., Taylor, S., Asmundson, G., Jang, K. L., & Stapleton, J. (2006). Literature reviw of concepts: Psychological resiliency. (CR 2006-073). Toronto, Ontario: Defense Research and Development Canada.