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Psychological Science
Completed Project

Reframing Resilience: Updating Concepts, Methods, and Applications for Well-Being

Tse Yen Tan ’20, Louise Wachsmuth ’20,  and Professor Michele Tugade

Resilience is a characteristic of effective coping that is relevant in every human context. The term resilience refers to the ability to adapt and recover from harmful effects and situations (Bonanno, 2004; Masten, 2007; Skodol, 2010, Tugade, 2011), and to thrive despite personal and social stressors (Steinhardt & Dolbier, 2008). Our program of research on resilience consisted of two main areas. The first aimed to discuss the components of resilience, including the development of resilience and its mediating effects on a variety of behaviors and mental health outcomes. We identified markers of resilience, among them self-compassion, gratitude, growth mindset, and flexible grit. The second area of our work examined applications of resilience research across several domains. We examined obstacles to resilience, chiefly effortless perfectionism and its pervasive effects in society and among women. We also focused our work on positive psychology interventions, with an emphasis on modern experience sampling methodologies. For this work, we discussed the strengths and limitations of mobile data collection and mHealth applications. Finally, we developed potential ways of incorporating resilience interventions into classrooms and board rooms, and with the overall aim of teaching evidence-based strategies to improve mental health and well-being.