Deconstructing resilience: myriad conceptualizations and interpretations

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Deconstructing resilience: myriad conceptualizations and interpretations

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Title: Deconstructing resilience: myriad conceptualizations and interpretations
Author: Shaikh, Arshi; Kauppi, Carol
Abstract: The construct of resilience has captured the imagination of researchers across various disciplines over the last five decades (Ungar, 2008a). Despite a growing body of research in the area of resilience, there is little consensus among researchers about the definition and meaning of this concept. Resilience has been used to describe eight kinds of phenomena across different disciplines. These eight phenomena can be divided into two clusters based on the disciplinary origin. The first cluster mainly involves definitions of resilience derived from the discipline of psychology and covers six themes including (i) personality traits, (ii) positive outcomes/forms of adaptation despite high-risk, (iii) factors associated with positive adaptation, (iv) processes, (v) sustained competent functioning/stress resistance, and (vi) recovery from trauma or adversity. The second cluster of definitions is rooted in the discipline of sociology and encompasses two themes including (i) human agency and resistance, and (ii) survival. This paper discusses the inconsistencies in the varied definitions used within the published literature and describes the differing conceptualizations of resilience as well as their limitations. The paper concludes by offering a unifying conceptualization of resilience and by discussing implications for future research on resilience.
Date: 2010

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