Psychology of Parenting
Psychology’s Resilience Theory (Definition & Characteristics)

Psychology’s Resilience Theory (Definition & Characteristics)

From a strength-focused perspective, resilience theory is the conceptual foundation for explaining how certain people may bounce back in life after facing adversity.

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What Exactly Is Resilience?

Natural catastrophes, crime, conflict, accidents, and abuse are all sad but inescapable aspects of life. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and pediatricians have long been interested in the startling reality that, when faced with hardship, some children emerge relatively unharmed while others disintegrate.

Contrary to common assumption, resilience is not a personality characteristic, but rather a dynamic process or dynamic system for effectively adapting to life’s challenges and adversity.

Who Created Resilience Theory?

Resilience Theory is a collective resilience concept developed by a number of scholars. Norman Garmezy, who established the Project Competence Longitudinal Study (PCLS) 3, and Masten, Tellegen from the University of Minnesota are notable contributions.

The origins of resilience research could be traced back to a half-century ago, when psychologists investigated the outcomes of children at high risk for psychopathology.

A subset of these childrens did not acquire any psychopathological disorders and grew up with unexpectedly healthy patterns.
Previously, psychology researchers were frequently focused on identifying risk factors and vulnerabilities that may contribute to good outcomes in at-risk children.

The Resilience Theory was a paradigm shift that explains what these protective elements are and how they function to help childrens overcome the negative consequences of risk exposure.

Characteristics of Resilience Theory

Resilience theory, unlike most other theories, is not a collection of predetermined assumptions or principles.

It is, rather, a framework that evolves over time as scholars discover more via investigations and analysis.

In reality, four waves of resilience research have continually refined and expanded resilience theory.

Several common features have evolved across the many diverse models of resilience theory, and most resilience theorists agree on them.

Static Traits Vs. Dynamic Process

Initially, psychologists concentrated on finding the personality qualities responsible for the favourable results in that sample of children.

The notion was that resilience was a static inherent attribute of a person.

Researchers gradually discovered that resilience is more than just a set of psychological qualities. Resilience, on the other hand, is the ability of a dynamic process to successfully adjust to disruptions that jeopardise a childrens function and growth.

Extraordinary Asset Vs. Ordinary Resources

Early resilience researchers sometimes referred to children who demonstrated resilient adaptation as invulnerable or invincible, as though only a few exceptional people were capable of overcoming extraordinarily severe situations.

Later, researchers discovered that resilience was really fairly frequent 9 in human development provided essential adaption mechanisms were safeguarded and in excellent functioning condition. If such systems were disrupted throughout a childrens growth, the likelihood of developmental disorders skyrocketed.

Ann S. Masten, a resilience specialist, dubbed this the Ordinary Magic because it is the ordinary resource, not the remarkable trait, that protects us.

Individual, family, and community protective factors have been discovered to safeguard adaption systems.

Although individual attributes such as temperament, IQ, and gender certainly contribute to resilience, external circumstances frequently play a substantial influence in deciding whether a person can adjust positively or negatively.

These are common resources available from family and community, such as parental support, adult mentors, a close community, and a safe area.

Variable Vs Fixed

Another novel idea regarding resilience is that it might possibly change over time and across domains.

Adaptation is not a permanent system; rather, it is a dynamic trend with new strengths and weaknesses emerging over time as a result of various life situations.

Resilience is also not a universal phenomenon.

A child may adapt successfully in one area while struggling in another.

Resillience Theory

Because resilience is a dynamic process and the majority of protective factors originate from outside of an individual, many researchers now refer to it as resilience or resilient adaptation rather than resiliency or resilient kid, because the latter suggests it is exclusively a personal trait.

Resilience is a simple concept: overcoming hardship. However, identifying resilience, as well as evaluating and comprehending it, is a difficult issue in psychology. Many resilience models have been created, and current brain research has added to our understanding.

Regardless of the complexities of the study, one thing is clear and easy for parents: in order to create resilience, we must do our share to connect with our children and offer excellent parenting.

References

  1. 2.Southwick SM, Bonanno GA, Masten AS, Panter-Brick C, Yehuda R. Resilience definitions, theory, and challenges: interdisciplinary perspectives. European Journal of Psychotraumatology. Published online October 2014:25338. doi:10.3402/ejpt.v5.25338
  2. 3.Masten AS, Tellegen A. Resilience in developmental psychopathology: Contributions of the Project Competence Longitudinal Study. Dev Psychopathol. Published online April 17, 2012:345-361. doi:10.1017/s095457941200003x
  3. 4.Zimmerman MA. Resiliency Theory. Health Educ Behav. Published online July 17, 2013:381-383. doi:10.1177/1090198113493782
  4. 5.Fergus S, Zimmerman MA. ADOLESCENT RESILIENCE: A Framework for Understanding Healthy Development in the Face of Risk. Annu Rev Public Health. Published online April 21, 2005:399-419. doi:10.1146/annurev.publhealth.26.021304.144357
  5. 6.Fraser MW, Galinsky MJ, Richman JM. Risk, protection, and resilience: Toward a conceptual framework for social work practice. Social Work Research. Published online September 1, 1999:131-143. doi:10.1093/swr/23.3.131
  6. 7.Wright MO, Masten AS, Narayan AJ. Resilience Processes in Development: Four Waves of Research on Positive Adaptation in the Context of Adversity. In: Handbook of Resilience in Children. Springer US; 2012:15-37. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-3661-4_2
  7. 8.Masten AS. Global Perspectives on Resilience in Children and Youth. Child Dev. Published online December 16, 2013:6-20. doi:10.1111/cdev.12205
  8. 9.Bonanno GA. Loss, Trauma, and Human Resilience: Have We Underestimated the Human Capacity to Thrive After Extremely Aversive Events? American Psychologist. Published online 2004:20-28. doi:10.1037/0003-066x.59.1.20
  9. 10.Masten AS. Ordinary magic: Resilience processes in development. American Psychologist. Published online 2001:227-238. doi:10.1037/0003-066x.56.3.227

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