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Resilience in Families with Health Challenges

  • By: Froma Walsh
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Family resilience is the ability of families to weather and rebound from crises and persistent life challenges strengthened and more resourceful. Resilience—strength in the context of adversity—has become a valuable concept in health care. Resilience extends beyond coping and adaptation to positive benefits and psychosocial-spiritual growth that can be forged out of adversity. Resilience theory and research have particular value for clinical practice with couples and families challenged by health conditions, particularly serious illness, disability, and loss.

Early studies of resilience focused on individual traits for hardiness, reflecting the dominant American cultural ethos of the rugged individual. Yet studies noted the crucial influence of significant relationships, leading to recognition that individual resilience is nurtured and sustained in strong interpersonal bonds.

Family resilience involves the functioning of ...

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