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TU Berlin

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Family and Resilience Projekt

Resilience concept was used first within the fields of materials sciences to refer to the ability of a material to recover its original shape or position after being spent, stretched, or compressed (Goldstein & Brooks, 2006). As a result of the perspective change motivated, in part, by the positive psychology, assessment and research on resilience also has extended into social and health sciences. Psychological resilience is currently defined as positive outcomes, adaptation, or the attainment of developmental milestones or competencies when significant risk, adversity, or stress happens (Naglieri & LeBuffe, 2006). The main aim of studying resilience is related to the interest in understanding risk and protective factors and their operation, and in determining how this information could help in the designing of relevant interventions (Goldstein and Brooks, 2006). However, the interest on studying resilience in relatively recent, and further research is still needed to optimize its assessment and the implementation of the research outcomes. Regarding assessment, although there are some tools target to evaluate resilience (Connor & Davidson, 2003; Prince-Embury, 2006, 2007), resilience is still quite often inferred indirectly as a result of the evaluation of different variables theoretically related to it, such as self-esteem, internal locus of control, sense of humor, or intelligence (Olson et al., 2003). Another important area on the study of resilience regards its possible predictor variables. Some studies point out the importance of family context and family relationships as predicting variables of resilience (Bernard, 2004; Masten, Herbers, Cutuli, & LaFavor, 2008). Our study will target the assessment of resilience (both directly and indirectly) in a sample of adoptive families, and the examination of the contribution of some variables (such as sibling relationships) insufficiently studied hitherto on the development of resilience.

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