Resilience science and practice: Current status and future direction

John W. Reich, Alex J. Zautra, John S. Hall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


This chapter covers a number of recent developments in theory and research on the concept of resilience, focusing on applications at the adult level of analysis. Various cutting-edge contributions to a recent comprehensive survey of the field by the authors are reviewed. Different characterizations of the current uses of the term are presented, and these suggest that attention be paid to the important role of stressful experiences in initiating resilient responding. The distinction between recovery from stress and sustainability of that recovery is discussed. A brief review of resources which enhance resilience at the individual psychological level presents work on genetic, biological and personality variables. Literature on organizational and community levels of analysis is reviewed. Resilience thinking also has had significant impact on the development of interventions to enhance recovery, sustainability, and growth. A number of recent advancements in intervention science are presented. As examples, programs have been implemented to enhance such resilience resources as positive emotions and social engagement, and to increase personal mastery and mindfulness. Interventions at the community level also have been developed and are briefly reviewed. In all areas of resilience thinking, there should be heightened awareness of possible cultural and ethnic biases in the approach taken. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the importance of contextual thinking integrating individual, community and cultural variables in resilience approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationContinuity versus Creative Response to Challenge
Subtitle of host publicationThe Primacy of Resilience and Resourcefulness in Life and Therapy
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781612097183
StatePublished - 2011


  • Community resilience
  • Resilience interventions
  • Resilience practice
  • Resilience theory
  • Resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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