Conceptualizing resilience in adult mental health literature: A systematic review and narrative synthesis
Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
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Ayed, N., Toner, S., & Priebe, S. (2019). Conceptualizing resilience in adult mental health literature: A systematic review and narrative synthesis. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 92 (3), 299-341. https://doi.org/10.1111/papt.12185
Purpose: This review aims to identify how the term resilience is conceptualised across adult mental health research due to ongoing criticism regarding the lack of consistency in its conceptualisation. Method: A systematic search, including hand searches of book chapters, was conducted using search terms (“resilien*)” AND (“mental illness” OR “mental health problem”). Papers were excluded if they did not meet the following criteria: written in English, provide a clear conceptualisation of resilience, include only adults (aged 18+) in the sample, solely focus on individuals with a primary diagnosis of mental illness, and peer-reviewed. Data were extracted on conceptualisations of resilience, demographic and diagnostic variables of the study population, publication year, and the research design used. Conceptualisations were combined and collapsed into overarching themes, then refined through joint discussion, consultation with a third reviewer and input from a larger multidisciplinary team. Results: 31 texts (6 book chapters, 4 reviews, 2 appraisals/critical evaluations, 1 editorial, and 18 research projects) were included. Two broad understandings of resilience were identified: resilience as a process and resilience as a characteristic of an individual. Processes comprise three themes: ‘immunity’, ‘bouncing back’, and ‘growth’, whilst characteristics are captured in two themes ‘personal resources’ and ‘social resources’. Conclusions: These findings suggest that resilience can be conceptualised in a clear and meaningful manner in adult mental health research. The five themes reflect distinct ways of using the term resilience. Whilst each one of them may have merit in future research, it appears beneficial to make clear in research which exact conceptualisation of resilience has been adopted.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/papt.12185
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/287778