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Keywords:

  • resilience;
  • scale development;
  • validation;
  • sense of coherence;
  • psychiatric symptoms

Abstract

Resources that protect against the development of psychiatric disturbances are reported to be a significant force behind healthy adjustment to life stresses, rather than the absence of risk factors. In this paper a new scale for measuring the presence of protective resources that promote adult resilience is validated. The preliminary version of the scale consisted of 45 items covering five dimensions: personal competence, social competence, family coherence, social support and personal structure.

The Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA), the Sense of Coherence scale (SOC) and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL) were given to 59 patients once, and to 276 normal controls twice, separated by four months.

The factor structure was replicated. The respective dimensions had Cronbach's alphas of 0.90, 0.83, 0.87, 0.83 and 0.67, and four-month test-retest correlations of 0.79, 0.84, 0.77, 0.69 and 0.74. Construct validity was supported by positive correlations with SOC and negative correlations with HSCL. The RSA differentiated between patients and healthy control subjects. Discriminant validity was indicated by differential positive correlations between RSA subscales and SOC.

The RSA-scale might be used as a valid and reliable measurement in health and clinical psychology to assess the presence of protective factors important to regain and maintain mental health. Copyright © 2003 Whurr Publishers Ltd.