At some point over the course of their lives, most people encounter adversity. They or their loved ones experience a disabling illness or injury, a sudden unexpected accident, violence, or loss of a close relationship or valued status. Indeed, the bonding of relationships leads to the inevitability of their loss. Sometimes an entire community is exposed to a natural or technological disaster, school shooting, or terrorist attack, although individuals directly affected often seem to be selected at random, and others appear to be spared at random. Many individuals experience some undesirable life event in any given year. This entry defines adversity, considers the role of adversity for well-being, and addresses how individuals respond to adverse life experiences over the lifespan.

Definitions and Reactions to Adversity

The term ...

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