What Predicts Psychological Resilience After Disaster? The Role of Demographics, Resources, and Life Stress

George A. Bonanno, Sandro Galea, Angela Bucciarelli, David Vlahov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A growing body of evidence suggests that most adults exposed to potentially traumatic events are resilient. However, research on the factors that may promote or deter adult resilience has been limited. This study examined patterns of association between resilience and various sociocontextual factors. The authors used data from a random-digit-dial phone survey (N = 2,752) conducted in the New York City area after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack. Resilience was defined as having 1 or 0 posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and as being associated with low levels of depression and substance use. Multivariate analyses indicated that the prevalence of resilience was uniquely predicted by participant gender, age, race/ethnicity, education, level of trauma exposure, income change, social support, frequency of chronic disease, and recent and past life stressors. Implications for future research and intervention are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-682
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume75
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ethnicity
  • resilience
  • resources
  • social support
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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