What is Resilience theory?

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This blog aims to this blog aims to give you details on resilience theory. Resilience theory emphasizes that the intensity of the trauma does not matter as much as the way an individual deals with it matters. Resilience is the ability that helps an individual to bounce back when he faces distressing situations, unpleasant events for traumatic experiences. Resilience theory explains how resilience helps an individual to reflect back in difficult times. Let’s find out more about resilience and resilience theory in the next headings.

Construct of Resilience

The word resilience has been derived from the Latin word “resiliens” which means the pliant or elastic quality of a substance. According to Masten (2005) resilience is the process that is characterized by good consequences in spite of serious threats to the adaptation of development. According to psychiatric risk researcher, Rutter (1987), resilience is referred to as the positive tone of individual differences in the reaction of people towards stressful events and adversity. In view of Janas (2002), resilience is the ability of an individual to reflect back from hardships, frustration, and mischances.

Importance of Resilience 

Resilience holds great importance. It develops a tendency in individuals to reflect back and difficult times. It helps individuals maintain healthy, secure, positive, and effective relationships with others. It enhances the cognitive abilities of an individual and enables him to resolve issues effectively. Resilience help individuals cope with their distressing emotions and unpleasant situations in the most effective way. It increases the level of happiness of individuals and so forth.

Resilience Theory

According to Breda (2018: 1), resilience theory is the study of the concept of resilience, the meaning of ‘adversity’ and ‘outcomes’, spread, processes, and the implications of resilience.

The study of protective factors and risk factors has been merged through the research on resilience for more than 40 years. A number of studies have been combined to study why exposure to negative events like hardships and traumas not always produce negative outcomes in the case of young people. According to resilience theorists presence of one or more protective factors can decrease the influence of exposure to adversities. Protective factors and resilience are directly correlated. Individuals having a greater number of protective factors are found to have greater resiliency. Yet it is to be noted that resilience is not a stable construct. The level of resilience might vary from person to person and situation to situation write the benefits of resilience remain the same every time. 

There is a general agreement that excessive and intensive exposure to adversities, traumatic events, and insufficient schooling can threaten the life chances of young people in spite of their protective factors. It is important for young people to be exposed to positive and encouraging situations to help them develop and enhance their coping skills. 

Peer-based programs found to help increase protective factors and resiliency in young people who are at risk, by increasing access to positive role models, providing them a safe space, teaching them about help services, providing opportunities for learning and developing skills, enabling them to gain the support of peers by sharing experiences, and developing a sense of belongingness in their relationships.

Resilience Theory in Social Work

In the past several years’ resilience theory has become an important part of the field of social work, especially the one involving children. This is because of community relationships influence academic areas as well as the social work principle that individuals must accept their responsibility of contributing to the well-being of the other people (International Federation of Social Workers, 2019).

Resilience theory was applied in researches related to social work for a number of reasons. One of these is that developing factors that help build up resilience can help threatened clients by enhancing thier competency and promoting their health, aiding them in reflecting through adversities, exploring stressors, and motivating them to confront them, grow and survive (Greene et al., 2004).

In the case of social workers, the issues in social work include exploring protective factors and utilizing them to enhance the effectiveness of the intervention, applying practical solutions to enhance capacity as well as strength of individual clients,  societies and communities, and understanding the role of social work policy and services in developing or obstructing well-being, social and economic injustice.

Recommended Books

The following are some of the best books on resilience theory. These books are a helpful source for increasing knowledge about resilience theory. All of the books are easily accessible on Amazon Store. Click the book you wish to read and you will be redirected to the page from where you can access it.

What is resilience theory in social work?

In social work, resilience theory emphasizes that every individual has an ability to some extent to recover from a trauma or a distressing situation. This strength is due to resilience which is referred to as the ability to bounce back after going through difficult times or tragedies. 

Who developed the resilience theory?

Norman Garmezy is known to develop resilience theory. He did a lot of researches on resilience and on the basis of those researches, he concluded that protective factors at individual levels, family levels and, external to family levels affect the resilience of an individual.

What are the 7 C’s of resilience?

The 7 C’s of resilience include control, competence, coping, confidence, connection, character, and contribution.

What is a resilience framework?

Resiliency framework is referred to as building on current plans, policies, and investments by examining existing conditions in the community. This framework helps analyze how the decrease of vulnerability to shocks and stresses can affect an individual’s daily life activities, long-term planning, and goals. 

What are the 5 skills of resilience?

The 5 skills of resilience include self-awareness, attention letting go physically, letting go mentally, accessing, and sustaining positive emotion.

How do we develop resilience?

Resilience can be developed in a number of ways. Some ways to develop resilience include getting enough sleep, following a healthy diet, practicing self-awareness, practicing cognitive restructuring, learning from mistakes and failures rather than feeling sad for them, choosing your response, and maintaining your perspective.

This blog aimed to provide you a detailed review of resilience theory. We hope this blog would be a source of information for you and you would have discovered how important resilience is for promoting our well-being and helping us pass through adversities. Your reviews about the blog are highly welcomed. If you have any queries or questions regarding this blog, let us know through your comments in the comments section. We will be glad to assist you.


Resilience Theory: What Research Articles in Psychology Teach Us (+ PDF) by Catherine Moore (2020)

Resilience Skills, Factors and strategies of the Resilient Person by Leslie Riopel

Conceptual Frameworks and Research Models on Resilience in Leadership Janet Ledesma (2014)

Resilience theory – My-Peer Toolkit



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