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Posts Tagged ‘Glenn Richardson’

The third wave of resilience research is the innate need for resilience. Richardson (2002, p. 313) wrote, “A succinct statement of resilience theory is that there is a force within everyone that drives them to seek self-actualization, altruism, wisdom, and harmony with a spiritual source of strength. This force is resilience, and it has a variety of names depending upon the discipline.” He also notes that this is a controversial area of the research because of the diversity of opinions and perspectives. Richardson asks the basic third wave question (p. 313), “What and where is the energy source or motivation to reintegrate resiliently?” which brings the topic full circle and back to what is really the oldest question in resilience inquiry.

Because resilience research crosses disciplines, Richardson offers two postulates to tie together the differing language and theories on the topic. In postulate one, he suggest that the source for resilience comes from an internal place or what he calls, “One’s ecosystem.” Citing physics, Eastern medicine, and belief in God or a Creative force, resilience has been described as free exchange of energy on a subatomic level, a flow of energy called chi, or strength from a spiritual source. In the second postulate, he proposes that every soul has the capacity for resilience.

So that describes the three waves of resilience research. Here’s a recap:

Wave One: Resilient Qualities

Wave Two: The Process of Resilience

Wave Three: Innate Resilience

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Richardson, G. E.(2002). The metatheory of resilience and resiliency. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58, 307-321.

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Since we’ve been talking about the process of resilience, a visual would help to show you what that means. In his article, The Metatheory of Resilience and Resiliency, Glenn Richardson gives us a great model of what this process looks like. I love this model!

Richardsons Resilience Model

People, resilient or not, begin at biopsychospritual homeostasis, which is a big word that means they are in their comfort zone of body, mind, and spirit.  They  have adapted to their situation, whether good or bad. Then, a disruption occurs. This can be a trauma, abuse, accident or a perceived stressor. It knocks the person out of homeostatis and forces them to reintegrate to put things back together. They can reintegrate in one of four ways: dysfunctional, with loss, back to homeostasis, or resilient. People are barraged with stressors, adversity and life events, and these can be external or internal. The protective factors, or qualities that promote resilience, buffer those adversities and help the person experience resilient reintegration. It’s important to note that the resilient reintegration in the model shows people as doing better than they were before.

This model shows how people move from before the adversity, through the adversity, and then become resilient with the help of the protective factors  identified in the research from Wave One.

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Richardson, G. E.(2002). The metatheory of resilience and resiliency. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58, 307-321.

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I’ve been writing about the three waves of resilience research identified by Glenn Richardson. Now let’s look at the second wave in more depth: the process of resilience. Richardson wrote that, “the second wave of resiliency inquiry was an attempt to answer the question, How are the resilient qualities acquired?” He proposed that the process of resilience was based on choice, conscious or unconscious.  This process might be fast, slow, or postponed. And this process might apply to individuals, groups, or even communities.

The key thing about Wave Two is that resilience was recognized as a process, not a single event. Therefore, theories about resilience built upon developmental theories like Piaget’s theory of intelligence, Kohlberg’s theory of moral development, and Erikson’s psychosocial theory.

A model to help visualize this process would be helpful, so I’ll post about that next.

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Richardson, G. E.(2002). The metatheory of resilience and resiliency. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58, 307-321.

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In the previous post, I describe the three waves of resilience research as identified by Glenn Richardson. Let’s look at the first wave in more depth.

Early resilience research (and by early, I mean in the ’90’s) shifted from looking at the risk factors that led to psychosocial problems to the strengths that helped people overcome those risk factors. Most of the research so far falls in this category. The assumption was that people had assets that helped them survive difficulties. The qualities that help people become resilient are sometimes referred to as protective factors. Research from this wave provided many lists of traits, states characteristics, and conditions that contributed to resilience.

The landmark research, or the first study credited with digging into this topic, is a longitudinal study conducted by Emmy Werner. More on this in the next post, but Richardson summarized the study by writing, “Werner’s phenomenology included personal characteristics such as being female, robust, socially responsible, adaptable, tolerant, achievement oriented, a good communicator, and having good self-esteem. She also noted that a caregiving environment both inside and outside the family helped young people thrive in the face of adversity” (page 309).

Another large study, which lasted more than a decade, was the Minnesota Risk Research Project. This study examined children of schizophrenic parents and found that most of them became warm, competent adults. This study generated a “triad of resiliency[which] included the personality disposition, a supportive family environment, and an external support system.” (page 309).

Some more qualities identified  in resilience include:

  • happiness
  • optimism
  • well-being
  • self-determination
  • wisdom
  • faith
  • creativity
  • morality and self-control
  • gratitude
  • forgiveness
  • dreams
  • humility

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Richardson, G. E.(2002). The metatheory of resilience and resiliency. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58, 307-321.

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How do people look at the topic of resilience?

Glenn Richardson, in the article The Metatheory of Resilience and Resiliency, wrote that resilience research has evolved in three waves. First, researchers looked at characteristics that help people thrive despite adverse circumstances. They made lists of internal and external qualities. For example, a high self-esteem, a strong support network, or a caring adult would all be things that help people be resilient. Second, researchers began to look at how people can attain those resilient qualities. They became more concerned with the process of developing resiliency instead of simply looking at the phenomenon that resilient qualities exist. This is exciting because it brought resilience programs to schools and promoted the idea that resilience could be learned or innate resiliency could be fostered to increase resilience. The third wave of research began to look at the concept of innate resilience. Now researchers began to look at the motivational forces and the experiences that fostered resilience. Why do people who experience similar traumas have different levels of resilience? How does someone turn a something painful into something that makes them better?

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Author’s Note: This is a great article for providing an overview of the topic of resilience.

Richardson, G. E.(2002). The metatheory of resilience and resiliency. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58, 307-321.

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