Luthar, Suniya S. Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Columbia University's Teachers College, New York, New York.
Rothstein, Jeremy D. Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Last reviewed:May 2019
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- Importance of positive relationships
- Role of personal attributes
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The adaptive capacity of an individual to cope with stress and other psychological challenges in life. Psychological resilience refers to positive adaptation among individuals at risk for maladjustment. It is characterized either by positive adjustment following experiences of adversity or by recovery from initial maladjustment. Psychological resilience research is the study of the processes that foster positive adaptation, and it has been studied among children and adults exposed to a wide range of adversities, including parental mental illness, maltreatment, chronic illness, socioeconomic disadvantage, community violence, and catastrophic life events. In general, there are three classes of protective factors that help people to thrive in the face of significant adversities. These include support from close family and friends, support from the community, and personal traits, including intelligence, optimism, and emotional self-regulation (Fig. 1). The goal of psychological resilience research is to enhance the lives of individuals at risk by helping them to develop methods to handle psychological adversities, as well as informing interventions and influencing social policy. See also: Developmental psychology; Emotion; Personality theory; Positive psychology; Psychoanalysis; Psychology; Psychotherapy; Stress (psychology)
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