Resilience has become a very popular concept in the educational and mental health fields. New programs integrate a resilience focus as they plan interventions that build health-promoting behaviors in children. What is resilience and why focus on it, especially during times of crisis? Some authors suggest that rather than identify the risk factors or deficits that could result in future problems, a prevention framework is better, a shift to a resource-based resilience focus.
Resilient individuals thrive and succeed in spite of what appears to be insurmountable odds. Researchers find that resilience enables a person to bounce back in the face of adversity. Sociology professor Froma Walsh thinks it may be more than that, it may be one’s capacity to bounce forward from adversity, strengthened and more resourceful than before. Masten refers to resilience as ordinary magic, a quality that we all possess, that is within our reach; we just need to practice using it. People are not born resilient; they build resilience over time. Experiences and the support of empathetic people contribute to this dynamic building process. Everyone, no matter what age, can build resilience.