About Resilience

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In the context of this research study, resilience is defined as the ability to recover from or adjust to adversity or severe change (Masten & Gewirtz 2). It is a wonderful trait that allows some people to recover from a traumatic life experience. Rather than giving up and letting failure sap their determination, resilient people discover methods to rise from the ashes. Resilient people believe they can reverse course and go forward in the face of hardship. The primary goal of this research is to find various characteristics that contribute to some people's resilience. Understanding why some people do well despite serious challenges can help in making more effective programs and policies that can enable more people to attain their full potential.

Statement of purpose

This paper will begin by outlining the importance of resilience. It will also examine why some people develop resilience when faced with severe hardships while other do not. The author will also attempt to discuss how people can acquire resistance in life.

Basic description

Importance of Resilience

Resilience is important because it enables an individual to develop ways of protecting themselves against overwhelming experiences (Yates & Masten 12). It helps people to maintain balance in their lives during stressful or difficult times. Resilience also contributes to protecting people from the development of dangerous mental health issues like depression. Research further shows that resilient people demonstrate improved learning and academic excellence. It also reduces the risk of overindulgence in drinking, smoking or use of hard drugs.

Psychologists also attribute increased involvement in family or community activities to resilience. Becoming more resilient increases physical health and lowers mortality rates (Masten & Gewirtz 4). Noteworthy is that resilient people have the capacity to maintain a positive attitude even in adversity. They recognize that the hardship is temporary. They stay flexible and maintain their physical health. If the negative experience is overwhelming, resilient people seek support from friends and family rather than resign.

Factors that promote resilience in individuals

Studies show that over 95 percent of people suffer at least one major setback in life. People lose family members, jobs, get divorced or hospitalized from illness or injury. Lightsey notes that although everyone suffers adverse life events, different people react differently to life hardships (Lightsey 96). While some people grow muscle and move on, others develop various psychological disorders like general anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress, depression, or substance abuse. The studies show that mastery is one of the factors that enable some individuals to recover from a negative experience. Lightsey defines mastery as the extent in which a person sees themselves as having the ability to control and influence their life’s circumstances (Lightsey 96). Contrary to optimism, which is the expectation of better outcomes that are not related to personal traits, mastery is the positive predictor of resilience in adversity. A 2012 study shows that mastery lessens depression in women who suffer domestic violence and attenuates post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans (Masten & Gewirtz 5). Psychologists attribute great mastery to increased quality of life and reduced heart attack mortality. Perceived higher mastery leads to greater life satisfaction, fewer depressive symptoms and better health regardless of social, economic status.

The other factor that determines the degree of resilience is the level of social support. Social support is the feeling and actuality that someone is loved and cared for by family and friends. It is the mental assurance that one is part of a supportive network and that help is available. People who have good supportive networks are more likely to be resilient. They are less liable to develop psychological issues. In contrast, unreceptive, unsupportive or critical responses from family, friends, and coworkers are likely to reduce the development of resilience. Researchers agree that lack of resilience is as a result of attempts to discourage open communication which may increase social withdrawal, self-blame, suppression of trauma-related memories and cognitive avoidance.

Developing Resilience

Experts posit that one can increase their resilience by coping well with difficult situations or emotions, thinking resiliently, engaging in resilient actions and maintaining their resilience in the long run. Dealing with difficult situation requires that one know how to manage stress (Lightsey 97). This can be achieved through getting enough sleep or indulging in unwinding activities. Studies show that managing stress enables a person to handle challenging situations with greater serenity. Changing one's thought a partner is crucial to building resilience. Individuals should focus on what they can control by believing that their situation will not always be bad. Research shows that taking action to promote resilience helps in building resilience in a person’s life. Finding purpose in life can be a good step. Life goals give a person a sense of hope and purpose (Masten & Gewirtz 6). They help in keeping focus in times of adversity. Once goals have been set, it is important for an individual to work towards their realization. Research shows that the desire to see the fruition of the set goals motivates a person to soar above any adversity. Finally, once an individual attains resilience, it is crucial that they work to maintain their new-found status. One of the best ways to keep resilience in by taking care of oneself. A long warm shower is a sure way of relieving an individual from stress. A person may also participate in new leisure activities like swimming


Studies in the course reveal a lot about resilience. This paper adds into the various intrigues of the subject. One of the issues that elicit debate about the topic is the topic of risk factors. From my class discussion, risk factors are the variables that affect an individual’s maladaptive outcome (Yates & Masten 12). Some of the risk and stress factors include but are limited to lack of education, parents with chronic illness, familial, violence, war, parents with mental illnesses, developmental delays, insufficient impulse control and motor deficits. It is, therefore, clear that an individual’s resilience is a multifaceted and a complex phenomenon.

While some of the factors are unavoidable, others are social and can be manipulated to improve resilience. Notable is that a lot of research focus more on the social factors that promote resilience. Lightsey stresses on social support and mastery which are more of socially induced (Lightsey 99). It is paramount that researchers explore the genetic or biological factors that affect resilience. Research on how to teach resilience in schools is also conspicuously lacking. It is, however, important to state that the psychosocial suggestions on how to build and maintain resilience are helpful.

After every violent school incident like shooting or suicide, there are numerous talks about resilience. As such, school going children, teachers and other staff need it as much as everyone else. Educators and coaches need to understand the complexity of resilience in formulating a holistic approach when handling children (Jennings, et al. 38). Resilience pedagogies in schools should support children to develop and build resilience capacity. Adults should encourage learners to explore the nature of their relationship with others and the ability to enhance connections. Coaches can teach resilience through physical exercise which may have a positive impact on mental strength and stability (Jennings, et al 40).


The discussion in this paper shows the importance of resilience in human life. Given that each person faces at least on a serious setback in life, it is important for individuals to build their capacity to rise above any adversity. While many factors determine a person's ability to rise above adversity, readers should realize the importance of mastery and social support in building resilience.

Works cited

Jennings, Patricia A., et al. "Improving classroom learning environments by cultivating awareness and resilience in education (CARE): Results of two pilot studies." The Journal of Classroom Interaction (2011): 37-48.

Lightsey Jr, Owen Richard. "Resilience, meaning, and well-being." The Counseling Psychologist 34.1 (2006): 96-107.

Masten, Ann S., and Abigail H. Gewirtz. "Resilience in development: The importance of early childhood." Encyclopedia on early childhood development (2006): 1-6.

Yates, Tuppett M., and Ann S. Masten. "Fostering the Future: Resilience Theory and the Practice of Positive Psychology." (2004).

April 26, 2023

Education Psychology



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Research Study Resilience

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