Recent advances in the understanding and treatment of anxiety disorders. Resilience: determinants, measurement, and treatment responsiveness.
In human terms, resilience is an ability to cope with stress and varies with context, time, age, gender, and cultural origin. Resilience shifts the focus of psychological investigation onto increasing the positive rather than reducing the negative. Inquiry into resilience has evolved from descriptions of resilient qualities, to discovery of the process to attain resilience, to uncovering the motivation to reintegrate in a resilient manner. Much of the research on resilience has focused on children in settings such as family violence, extreme poverty, war, and natural disasters. A coherent pattern of characteristics associated with successful adaptation has emerged. Salient characteristics include commitment, dynamism, humor in the face of adversity, patience, optimism, faith, and altruism. As such, resilience may represent an important target of treatment in anxiety, depression, and stress reactions. Resilience can be quantified, but available measures need to be validated transculturally. There exist many possible determinants of resilience, including neurobiologic, genetic, temperament, and environmental influences. Resilience is modifiable on individual and cultural levels. Posttraumatic stress disorder is an example of a serious disorder associated with impaired stress coping that can improve with treatment.
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