It is almost certain that everyone in life experience bad things happening in their lives that may bring pain realities. Such experiences can be the death of a loved one or incidents that trigger traumatic events. Faced with painful experiences, it expected people might struggle with the traumatic disorder; however, researchers led by George Bonanno have proved that adults exposed to potentially disruptive traumatic disorders remain resilient. The research conducted in New York after the terrorist attack on September 1, 2001, analyzed patterns of association between adult resilience and different sociocultural factors. The study “What Predicts Psychological Resilience after Disaster? The Role of Demographics, Resources, and Life Stress” found a myriad of factors the cushion adults from falling into depression, including demographic variables, social and material resources, and life stressors. Using a random digit dial phone survey, authors managed to reach the targeted population hence increasing the validity of the results.
My first reaction is that researchers’ unique predictors of resilience among the adults, including demographic variables and additional life stressors, help to explain why many adults cope with potentially damaging traumatic events. It is useful to know that demographic aspects such as gender, ethnicity, level of education, and age influence the likelihood of resiliency. As findings indicated, gender is a strong predictor of resilience. The female gender showed reduced resilience compared to males. People in ethnic minorities have lower resilience, and comparison of predictors between Hispanics and whites indicated differences were non-existent. Importantly, education level is a crucial predictor of resilience. People who have attained higher levels of education show higher levels of resilience. Notably, the presence or absence of life stressors predicts the level of resilience. Crucially, Resilience is higher among people who have reported no recent life stressors.
I also found that resource variables, including the presence of social support, income change, as well as the absence of chronic disease, are indicators of strong resilience. Interestingly, social support influences people’s tendencies towards resilience. People with perceived strong social support show a higher level of resilience. Similarly, people in higher socioeconomic status show a higher level of resilience than those in lower-income levels. The research showed evidence that chronic health problems increase traumatic reactions. People experiencing chronic diseases show lower resilience.
I think the researchers’ focus on adult resilience towards devastating traumatic stressors is crucial. Unlike previous (Bonanno, Workman et al. 2000 and Moskowitz, Papa, & Folkman, 2005) that focused on bereavement among different age groups, this study focused on nature resilience among the adults. I feel it is essential to focus on how adults deal with traumatic events and understand what factors aid their resilience. Before this study, limited knowledge existed on factors that promote resilience among adults because most of the research studies focused on person-centered variables like the tendencies towards hardness. It is better to study how each gender copes with stressing situations, and specifically how adult genders uniquely develop resilience against stressful situations.
In conclusion, I think the research provides crucial and compelling implications of resilience promoting factors that provide a basis for intervention measures, especially in the aftermath of traumatic events. Although research is limited in many ways, it provides a foundation for psychological interventions and mitigation. I strongly recommend this research to psychiatrists because it allows for a basic understanding of resilience indicators, which are crucial in helping individuals from falling into depression. I think further research is needed on this topic to divulge more details about the role of different factors on psychological resilience.
Bonanno, G. A., Galea, S., Bucciarelli, A., & Vlahov, D. (2007). What predicts psychological resilience after disaster? The role of demographics, resources, and life stress. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 75(5), 671.
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