Adult Personal Resilience: A New Theory, New Measure, and Practical Implications

Robert J. Taormina


This is a new theory of adult personal resilience that can apply in any society. It differs from previous theories, which are post hoc because they traditionally focus on helping victims find ways to live with trauma after the trauma occurs. The present theory is a positive psychology approach because it identifies the aspects of a person that can make him or her stronger to prevent personal problems from occurring as well as to deal with traumas and the various vicissitudes of life in general. Whereas this is a new theory, and a complete theory would require a more comprehensive monograph, this paper focuses on describing the essential features of the theory. These are to define adult personal resilience and distinguish it from general concepts of resilience, explain personal resilience as a multidimensional construct by identifying the four dimensions of adult personal resilience (Determination, Endurance, Adaptability, and Recuperability), briefly review the new theory’s advantages over previous theories of resilience, describe the new four-subscale measure of adult personal resilience, and discuss implications of the new concept for theory, research, and practice.


adaptability; Adult Personal Resilience Theory; determination; endurance; measure; recuperability

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