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Resilience is not the Absence of PTSD any More than Health is the Absence of Disease

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Resilience may mean different things to different researchers and practitioners in psychology and public health: A process, an outcome, a dynamic steady state in the face of adversity, and defiance of risk/vulnerability are among the variety of understandings of the concept that are extant. This article summarizes the results of a systematic review of the literature on definitions and measurements of resilience. It is evident that resilience is more than the absence of "posttraumatic stress disorder," just as health (and indeed mental health) is more than the absence of disease (or mental/behavioral disorder). A multidimensional construct, resilience a requires a multimethod and multilevel study design that combines both qualitative and quantitative techniques to be examined satisfactorily. Seven selected studies are discussed in detail, highlighting examples that offer a fuller understanding of resilience in its sociocultural and ecological context.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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