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Lennis Echterling & Anne Stewart

In: 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 72: Resilience

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Every live thing is a survivor. — Annie Dillard

In this chapter, we introduce you to resilience, a recent and promising concept in the field of psychology. Given the burgeoning number of studies and therapeutic applications based on this concept, resilience is likely to play an increasing role in 21st-century psychology. Both researchers and practitioners are discovering that most human beings are remarkably hardy. We summarize the surprising findings on the resilience of survivors who have endured such traumas as sexual assault, school violence, combat, and natural disasters. We also discuss the implications of resilience research for using psychological interventions that uncover strengths, identify coping abilities, and promote resolve.

Resilience comes from the Latin word resilire (“recoil”). To resile literally means to bounce back, rebound, or ...

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