Resilience definitions, theory, and challenges: Interdisciplinary perspectives

Steven M. Southwick, George A. Bonanno, Ann S. Masten, Catherine Panter-Brick, Rachel Yehuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

446 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper, inspired by the plenary panel at the 2013 meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, Dr. Steven Southwick (chair) and multidisciplinary panelists Drs. George Bonanno, Ann Masten, Catherine Panter-Brick, and Rachel Yehuda tackle some of the most pressing current questions in the field of resilience research including: (1) how do we define resilience, (2) what are the most important determinants of resilience, (3) how are new technologies informing the science of resilience, and (4) what are the most effective ways to enhance resilience? These multidisciplinary experts provide insight into these difficult questions, and although each of the panelists had a slightly different definition of resilience, most of the proposed definitions included a concept of healthy, adaptive, or integrated positive functioning over the passage of time in the aftermath of adversity. The panelists agreed that resilience is a complex construct and it may be defined differently in the context of individuals, families, organizations, societies, and cultures. With regard to the determinants of resilience, there was a consensus that the empirical study of this construct needs to be approached from a multiple level of analysis perspective that includes genetic, epigenetic, developmental, demographic, cultural, economic, and social variables. The empirical study of determinates of resilience will inform efforts made at fostering resilience, with the recognition that resilience may be enhanced on numerous levels (e.g., individual, family, community, culture).

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

Keywords

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Resilience
  • Stress
  • Trauma

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