PODCAST-Despite the fact that there have been several theories of personal resilience, and that some of the theories have suggested that there are more than one dimension, those theories have not focused on the person’s internal characteristics or provided an adequate elucidation of the exact components of adult personal resilience. Dr. Perrodin begins a discussion of what it means to be resilient as he shares the collaborative research he conducted with Iranian Professor Nemati Shahrooz, Ph.D., University of Tabriz, Iran to better inform what is known of resiliency and attachment to God with Hope in Mothers of Children with Specific Learning Disability. The study revealed a stark contrast between resiliency in Eastern and Western cultures and the personal characteristics that are ascribed to “resilient” people.
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RESILIENCY – MORE THAN JUST COMPRESSING A SPONGE AND HAVING IT BOUNCE BACK TO NORMAL
“It is necessary to distinguish between resilience for inanimate objects versus animate beings, with the objective of refining the concept for human beings. For certain inanimate physical objects, such as a soccer ball, resilience refers to the object regaining its shape after being distorted by some outside force. In other words, a resilient inanimate object that comes under pressure can spring back to its original size and shape without experiencing irreparable damage. [As humans aren’t soccer balls] external influences ought not to be included in defining personal resilience, which should be regarded as a characteristic that exists within a person (Taormina, 2015).”
THE FOUR PARTS OF RESILIENCY
Taormina describes identifies four clear dimensions of adult personal resilience as internal factors that will help achieve a better understanding of what resilience is, and, by explaining the new dimensions, takes a positive psychology approach that will help both research and practice.
- DETERMINATION is defined as the willpower and firmness of purpose that a person has and the decision to persevere and/or to succeed.
- ENDURANCE is defined as the personal strength and fortitude that one possesses to withstand unpleasant or difficult situations without giving up.
- ADAPTABILITY is defined as the capacity to be flexible and resourceful, and to cope with adverse environments and adjust oneself to fit into changing conditions.
- RECUPERABILITY is defined as the ability to recover, physically and cognitively, from various types of harm, setbacks, or difficulties in order to return to and reestablish one’s usual condition.
Dr. Perrodin notes that the questionnaire contains terms that will be interpreted differently across participants. For example, a noisy apartment might be unpleasant to one person while having spoiled food to eat might be unpleasant to another person. The questionnaire constructs are solid, but the actual questions that inform the constructs must be administered with much explanation and ability to clarify perceptions of the respondents.
DAVID TAKES THE RESILIENCY QUESTIONNAIRE
How resilient is Doc? Hard to say as he hasn’t endured some of the tribulations referenced in the assessment. Life experiences are integral to learning about one’s resiliency – and a reason why resiliency scales should be different for adults than for children.
ANECDOTES IN THIS EPISODE
David dips a toe into the conspiracy theory of the October 3rd Presidential Alert message delivered to millions of cell phones. He’s irritated with his daughter’s school fundraiser; and also shares that friends and colleagues are considering significant alterations to their inter-personal encounters as a defensive measure to lessen the likelihood of being accused of inappropriate interactions – a definition which might change with the shifting sands of time.
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Dr. Perrodin’s “Safety Doc Podcast” negotiates school and community safety. To be informed about industrial safety, please contact Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Timothy Ludwig, PhD, at www.safety-doc.com
Article cited in this episode: Adult Personal resilience: A New Theory, New Measure, and Practical Implications by Robert J. Taormina. Psychological Thought 2015, Vol. 8(1), 35–46 doi:10.5964/psyct.v8i1.126
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