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Resilience And Adversity

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Resilience refers to the capacity to endure, acclimate to, and recuperate from stress and/or adversity. It manifests as the maintenance and returning to an individual’s original state of wellness or attaining a mature and well-developed state of mental health by using effective strategies of coping. Resilience is inferred from an individual’s everyday activities and behavior as a way of reacting to trials and adverse situations.

Measuring Resilience

There are several measures of resilience in existence, but the eight most popular theoretic scales of resilience include the Connor-Davidson resilience scale, resilience scale for adults, brief resilience scale, resilience scale, scale for protective factors, protective six-factor resilience scale, ego resilience scale, and the academic resilience scale.

The Connor resilience scale has received high ratings in the psychometric field (Windle et al., 2011). It was developed as a measure of resilience that provides self-report within the clinical community of individuals who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder. It measures resilience as a function of five interlinked modules, which include personal competence, secure relationships, and acceptance of change, tolerance, control, and spiritual influences. This measure is considered one of the tools, which have high scoring scales. Secondly, the resilience scale for adults is a self-reporting scale that was aimed at assisting adults. It has five scoring components that are responsible for the examination of interpersonal and intrapersonal factors, which encourage individuals to adapt to adversity. These components include social competence, personal components, social support, personal structure, and family coherence. This tool is highly useful in the assessment of factors that inhibit psychological disorders.

The resilience scale is the oldest scale and was created for people from fifty-three to ninety-five years of age. It results have related highly to physical health, life satisfaction, morale, and depression. It is based on five components: perseverance, purpose, self-reliance, patience, and finally, external aloneness. These components are assessed by the use of subscales, the 8-item acceptance of self as well as life subscale, and the 17-item personal competence subscale. The scale of protective factors was developed with the aim of capturing a comprehensive measure of resilience. It measures resilience by focusing on the factors combined in the creation of a shield amid persons who have undergone trauma, and the stress that can come along with it, not forgetting the disruption that trauma brings. This tool has twenty-four items that measure two cognitive-individual factors as well as two social-interpersonal factors. This tool has been validated as an effective scale of resilience in clinical arenas (Madewell & Ponce-Garcia, 2016).

The predictive 6-factor resilience scale was established because of the resilience neurobiological foundations, as well as the hypothesized association with health hygiene (Roussouw & Roussouw, 2016). It is based on concepts including vision, encompassing setting of goals and self-efficacy, composure, tenacity, reasoning, and collaboration. This tool is effective in the measurement of good resilience as well as health hygiene scores. The seventh scale, the ego resilience scale, measures resilience in non-psychiatric settings. The scale comprises of fourteen items. The scores on the scale have linked to intelligence because it associates with the capacity to adapt, which supports the scales’ ability to measure an individual’s aptitude to recover from their disappointment or failure.

Lastly, the academic resilience scale assesses resilience in a specific setting, which is an academic success. According to Simon Cassidy (2016), academic resilience is the inclination of success in education, in spite of adversities. It lays focus on behavioral responses and cognitive effect on academic adversity. Items on this scale could be one of the following: perseverance, negative affect, emotional response, and reflecting and adaptive help-seeking. This scale is greatly reliable as its scores relate largely to a measure of academic self-efficacy. Apart from being applied in academic settings, this tool can also be applied in other cases as well.

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Contributing Factors for Resilience

The resilience-contributing elements are vital to the individual’s progressive development. The awareness of these factors is important in resilience promotion. Most studies on resilience show that many individuals have been able to overcome various adversities, and hence developing successfully to resilient persons (Ungar, 2008). Scholars who have studied resilience agree that it is a process, and that it is not a static phenomenon (Richardson, 2002). For instance, the resilience of children and the youth has been accredited to normative and contextual factors that promote healthy development. Some of the factors that help in the building of resilience include confidence and internal locus of control, toughness and commitment, social support, and achievement orientation.

Confidence and internal locus of control assist individuals in their self-evaluation. Resilient individuals perceive behavioral statements that represent confidence and an internal locus of control as giving an accurate mirror image of their character. Generally, the sense of duty and personal responsibility is highlighted in a practical method, where the individual acknowledges their strengths and takes charge of their situation. Maurer and Andrews (2000) suggest that confidence is the best measure for self-efficacy. Persons who accept to take control of their actions and be responsible, even when faced by challenging situations, show demonstration of an internal locus of control.

Toughness and commitment have been associated with being strong, able to withstand abuse and to enhance value in self. According to Seery, Holman and Silver (2010) toughness are also coupled with mastery. These two traits are seen to generate high levels of resilience and better health. Individuals who show resilience stay tough during times of adversity and show commitment to the overcoming of challenges. These individuals can withstand the effects of their stressing situations, to realize developmental outcomes that are desirable, in addition to their efforts to bounce back from adversity. The definition of resilience is largely backed by its narrative of recovery from various situations, which demonstrates a robust nature and the ability of a person to commit to the maintenance of healthy developmental outcomes.

Social support contributes to resilience. The provision of support is essential in the building of resilience and overcoming of adversity. Presence of social support translates to positive regard and encouragement from individuals who care. In their research on the effects of social support in the building of resilience, Mampane and Bouwer (2011) established that a majority of individuals consider a nurturing and supportive school to be significant in the enforcement of rules, provision of fruitful education, and the assurance of dependable educational outcomes as well as attainment of positive future goals.

Achievement orientation is a factor for resilience, as it comes with the strong will to succeed. This factor affirms the strength of an individual and shows one’s determination to take ownership of the situations. It demonstrates extrinsic motivation and support from significant others and gives assurance to success and the achievement of goals. According to a study by Henderson and Milstein (2003) on factors that contribute to resilience, schools that encourage high levels of achievement of students produce the best performance and do not experience issues with behavior. From this, it is seen that setting realistic objectives and giving young people positive expectations is an important factor in the building of resilience.


These factors epitomize an individual’s intrinsic features, as well as their contextual factors in fine interactive equilibrium. Hence, this suggests that even a largely problematic atmosphere has resources that are valuable enough to individuals with resilient features. Individuals define their resilience based on who they are regarding responsibility, confidence, toughness, commitment to the achievement of their goals, and independence. In addition, these individuals express resilience through elements they can do or perform by utilizing their abilities as well as what they have, including the presence of social support and role models. Demanding situations and challenges that less resilient individuals face in their environs could be different from those faced by the more resilient individuals, and so demonstration of perseverance is reliant on different situations. The understanding and knowledge of what precisely leads to the resilience of individuals is essential for their support.


  1. Cassidy, S. (2016). The Academic Resilience Scale (ARS-30): A new multidimensional construct measure. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1787.
  2. Madewell, A. N., & Ponce-Garcia, E. (2016). Assessing resilience in emerging adulthood: The resilience scale (RS), Connor–Davidson resilience scale (CD-RISC), and scale of protective factors (SPF). Personality and Individual Differences, 97, 249-255.
  3. Maurer, T. J., & Andrews, K. D. (2000). Traditional, Likert, and simplified measures of self-efficacy. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 60(6), 965-973.
  4. Richardson, G. E. (2002). The metatheory of resilience and resiliency. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58(3), 307-321.
  5. Rossouw, P. J., & Rossouw, J. G. (2016). The predictive 6-factor resilience scale: Neurobiological fundamentals and organizational application. International Journal of Neuropsychotherapy, 4(1), 31-45.
  6. Seery, M. D., Holman, E. A., & Silver, R. C. (2010). Whatever does not kill us: cumulative lifetime adversity, vulnerability, and resilience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99(6), 1025.
  7. Ungar, M. (2008). Resilience across cultures. The British Journal of Social Work, 38(2), 218-235.
  8. Windle, G., Bennett, K. M., & Noyes, J. (2011). A methodological review of resilience measurement scales. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 9(1), 8.

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“Resilience And Adversity.” Edubirdie, 21 Feb. 2022,
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