CHARLES CARVER is Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami. He received his Ph.D. in personality psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1974. He currently serves as Associate Director of the Biopsychosocial Oncology research program at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami School of Medicine. He was honored for his contributions to health psychology by the American Psychological Association's Division of Health Psychology in 1998.
Resilience and Thriving: Issues, Models, and Linkages
Version of Record online: 9 APR 2010
1998 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Journal of Social Issues
Volume 54, Issue 2, pages 245–266, Summer 1998
How to Cite
Carver, C. S. (1998), Resilience and Thriving: Issues, Models, and Linkages. Journal of Social Issues, 54: 245–266. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.1998.tb01217.x
- Issue online: 9 APR 2010
- Version of Record online: 9 APR 2010
This article addresses distinctions underlying concepts of resilience and thriving and issues in conceptualizing thriving. Thriving (physical or psychological) may reflect decreased reactivity to subsequent stressors, faster recovery from subsequent stressors, or a consistently higher level of functioning. Psychological thriving may reflect gains in skill, knowledge, confidence, or a sense of security in personal relationships. Psychological thriving resembles other instances of growth. It probably does not depend on the occurrence of a discrete traumatic event or longer term trauma, though such events may elicit it. An important question is why some people thrive, whereas others are impaired, given the same event. A potential answer rests on the idea that differences in confidence and mastery are self-perpetuating and self-intensifying. This idea suggests a number of variables whose role in thriving is worth closer study, including personality variables such as optimism, contextual variables such as social support, and situational variables such as the coping reactions elicited by the adverse event.