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  1. Jaelyn R. Farris,
  2. John G. Borkowski

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0793

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Farris, J. R. and Borkowski, J. G. 2010. Resilience. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. University of Notre Dame

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Resilience refers to successful adaptation in the face of major risks or stressors. Three aspects of the definition are noteworthy: (1) resilience refers to a process or pattern of adaptation rather than a characteristic of a person; (2) resilience is based on inferences about adaptation in the face of adversity, which implies that in order to be considered resilient, an individual has to be exposed to a risk or major challenge; and (3) a resilient person must maintain or return to adequate levels of functioning following exposure to risk. A person may be resilient in one domain of functioning but not in another, in one situation but not in another, and at one point in time but not at another. Therefore, resilience refers to a specific type of positive adaptation in a specific situation at a specific point in time, following exposure to one or more risk factors.


  • risk factors;
  • adversity;
  • protective factors;
  • competence;
  • longitudinal analysis