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Table 3 Description of the Resilience Measures

From: A methodological review of resilience measurement scales

  Name Author(s): Target population Mode of completion Number dimensions (items) Purpose of the measure Comments on theory and item selection:
1a The Dispositional Resilience Scale (1)
Bartone (1989) Adults Self report 3 (45) Designed to measure psychological hardiness (commitment, control, and challenge). Has been applied to evaluate change over time. The theoretical background to the development of this scale is derived from the hardiness literature, and in a number of applications it is referred to as a measure of hardiness. As a personality style, it might assist in a resilient response from the individual level, however it is generally regarded as a fixed trait and does not fit well with the notion of resilience as a dynamic process.
1b The Dispositional Resilience Scale (2)
Bartone (1991) Adults Self report 3 (30) As above  
1c The Dispositional Resilience Scale (3)
Bartone (1995;2007) Adults Self report 3 (15) As above  
2 The ER 89 (USA/English) Block & Kremen (1996) Young adults (18 and 23) Self report 1 (14) To measure ego-resiliency (a stable personality characteristic). No clinical applications are suggested. The construct of Ego Resiliency was first formulated over 50 years ago in the context of personality development. It has a good theoretical basis and has received considerable research attention. It is proposed as an enduring psychological construct that characterizes human adaptability and has been used on occasion by researchers to measure resilience. It is assumed that ego-resilience renders a pre-disposition to resist anxiety and to engage positively with the world. Ego-resiliency does not depend on risk or adversity. It is part of the process of dealing with general, day-to-day change. Ego-resiliency may be one of the protective factors implicated in a resilient outcome, but it would be incorrect to use this measure on its own as an indicator of resilience.
Block and Kremen (1996) note that the development of the scale over the years was empirically driven, that 'conceptual decisions were not fully systematic' (p. 352) and changes to the scale have not been recorded properly.
3a The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC)
Connor & Davidson (2003) Adults (mean age 43.8) Self report 5 (25) Developed for clinical practice as a measure of stress coping ability. Five factors (personal competence, trust/tolerance/strengthening effects of stress, acceptance of change and secure relationships, control, spiritual influences).
The measure has been used to evaluate change in response to a drug intervention.
The authors take the perspective that resilience is a personal quality that reflects the ability to cope with stress. In their scale development the attempt to identify attributes of resilience is not covered in much depth, and it is not clear why only the work of the three authors cited (Kobasa, Rutter, Lyons) are chosen to identify the characteristics of resilient people. Likewise, the authors make a brief reference to Shackleton's expedition to the arctic, noting that he possessed 'personal characteristics compatible with resilience' (p.77). Research from other authors could potentially have added items to this list.
Although this scale was one of the higher scoring ones in the psychometric evaluation and has been applied with an intervention, with reference to our definition, it is an individual level measure that would benefit from more theoretical clarification.
3b The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC)
Cambell-Sills & Stein (2007) Young adults (mean age = 18.8) Self report 1 (10) Short version of 3a. Developed for clinical practice as a measure of stress coping ability.  
4 Youth Resiliency: Assessing Developmental Strengths (YR:ADS)
Donnon & Hammond (2003, 2007a) Youth (age 12-17) Self report 10 (94) To examine protective factors; intrinsic and extrinsic developmental strengths (family, community, peers, work commitment and learning, school (culture), social sensitivity, cultural sensitivity, self concept, empowerment, self control.
Appears to have been developed to generate profiles, and not assess change over time.
The authors summarise the literature with a focus on protective factors and note that youth resiliency is influenced by personal attributes, family characteristics and other external support systems such as peers, the school and the community. In turn, these are described as intrinsic and extrinsic developmental strengths that are related to the development of resilience. The items representing the protective factors were developed from the literature on resilience, protective factors, prevention and child and adolescent development. The dimensions are outlined but the questionnaire is not in the public domain.
5a The Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA)
Friborg et al. (2003) Adults (mean age women = 33.7, men = 36.2) Self report 5 (37) To examine intrapersonal and interpersonal protective factors presumed to facilitate adaptation to psychosocial adversities (personal competence, social competence, family coherence, social support, personal structure.
The authors note measure can be used in clinical and health psychology as an assessment tool of protective factors important to prevent maladjustment and psychological disorders.
The authors outline evidence from longitudinal research to identify some of the key features of resilient people. These are presented as family support and cohesion, external support systems and dispositional attitudes and behaviours. These were used to define questionnaire items, but it is not clear how the wording for the items was chosen, or whether the target population was involved in item selection. The multi-level nature of the questionnaire is consistent with the assets and resources outlined in our definition.
5b The Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA) Friborg et al (2005) Adults (mean age 22, 24, mid 30s) Self report 6 (33) To examine intrapersonal and interpersonal protective factors presumed to facilitate adaptation to psychosocial adversities (personal strength, social competence, structured style, family cohesion, social resources). As for parent scale.
6 The Resiliency Attitudes and Skills Profile (USA/English) Hurtes, K. P., & Allen, L. R. (2001). Youth (age 12-19) Self report 7 (34) To measure resiliency attitudes (Insight; independence; creativity; humour; initiative; relationships; values orientation) in youth for recreation and other social services providing interventions. The authors cite research by some of the key resilience researchers (e.g. Garmezy, Werner, Masten) in the background. Their rationale for their resiliency attitudes is drawn from the qualitative work by Wolin & Wolin (1993) who suggest these characteristics. As this work is drawn from family counseling, the generalisability of the scale is questionable. As with the CD-RISC, other research could potentially inform the dimensions, as the measure is mainly at the level of the individual level, although one of the seven dimensions examines relationships.
In terms of measurement construction, the authors specify the procedures they adopted.
7 Adolescent Resilience Scale (Japan/Japanese) Oshio et al. (2003) Japanese Youth (19-23 years) Self report 3 (21) To measure the psychological characteristics (novelty seeking, emotional regulation, positive future orientation) of resilient Japanese Youth. No clinical applications are reported. Very little theoretical rationale is presented, and it is unclear as to how the psychological characteristics were chosen to represent resilience.
8 California healthy Kids Survey - The Resilience Scale of the Student Survey (USA/English) Sun & Stewart (2007) Primary School Children (mean ages 8.9, 10.05, 12.02) Self report 12 (34) To assess student perceptions of their individual characteristics, protective resources from family, peer, school and community (Communication and cooperation, Self-esteem, Empathy, Problem solving, Goals and aspirations, Family connection, School connection, Community connection, Autonomy experience, Pro-social peers, Meaningful participation in community Activity, Peer support). No recommendations by authors regarding to evaluate change. The introduction in this paper acknowledges resilience as a process. It discusses resilience in relation to Salutogenesis, emphasising the enhancement of protective factors. The authors also discuss resilience within an ecological framework, acknowledging the interactions between the individual, their social environment and the wider community. They acknowledge that resilience encompasses the individual characteristics of the child, family structures and the external environment, and these multiple levels are reflected in the items of the Resilience Scale. The authors also identified peer support at school as an important factor and also added the Peer Support Scale derived from the Perception of Peer Support Scale (Ladd et al., 1996).
9 The Brief Resilience Scale (USA/English) Smith et al. (2008) Adults (mean age range 19-62) Self report 1 (6) Designed as an outcome measure to assess the ability to bounce back or recover from stress. The authors suggest that assessing the ability to recover of individuals who are ill is important. No clinical applications are reported. The authors note that most measures of resilience have focused on examining the resources/protective factors that might facilitate a resilient outcome. This scale was developed to have a specific focus on bouncing back from stress. Their arguments are short but clear.. They say that they selected final items from list of potential items but do not identify the full list. The data reduction appears to be based on feedback and piloting of the original list, no empirical validation of the data reduction is reported.
In relation to our definition, this scale could be a useful outcome measure in the context of stress.
10 The Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM)
(11 countries/11 languages)
Ungar et al. (2008) Youth at risk (age 12 to 23) in different countries Self report 4 (28) To develop a culturally and contextually relevant measure of child and youth resilience across four domains (individual, relational, community and culture). No clinical applications are reported. The authors do not cite some of the early literature on resilience, but use a definition of their own from previous work to highlight that resilience is a dynamic interplay between the individual and available resources. This interplay involves a process of navigation and negotiation between the individual, their families and the community. They note some of the difficulties in identifying a 'standard' measure of resilience across different cultures and contexts. The project appears to have put a lot of work into the development of the measure, and work was undertaken within 11 countries. The target population was involved in the questionnaire development - at focus groups in 9 countries the youths assisted with the development of the questions which related to the domains defined in previous theoretical work. It appears that the authors have yet to present findings for further application and validation.
11 The Resilience Scale (RS)
Wagnild & Young (1993) Adults (some application with 16-23) Self report 2 (25) To identify the degree of individual resilience (personal competence and acceptance of self and life); a positive personality characteristic that enhances individual adaptation.
sThe measure has had some limited use in evaluating change and has been applied to all age groups from adolescents upwards.
Data ranges are suggested which are categorised as low, medium and high.
In the 1993 development paper the authors present a very brief literature review of resilience research. The scale is an individual level measure and was developed from qualitative research with 24 older women who successfully negotiated a major life event. Five themes were derived; equanimity, perseverance, self-reliance, meaningfulness, existential aloneness. The authors state that these were further validated with research literature. However the analytical approach for the five initial components identified in the qualitative work is not outlined, and it is unclear how they came to this conclusion, and then linked it with the research literature. The scale items were derived from verbatim statements from the interviews and from 'generally accepted definitions of resilience'. The definitions are not presented, and it is unclear how comprehensive sampled the items are. The scale was then tested on 39 undergraduate nurses (alpha = 0.89) mean age = 71).
This measure appears to have had the widest application out of those identified, and has been used with adolescents, younger and older adults.
12 Psychological Resilience (UK/English) Windle, Markland & Woods (2008) Older Adults (subscales previously used with adolescents) Self report 3 (19) To assess psychological resilience (self esteem, personal competence and interpersonal control) that acts as a protective factor against risks and adversities. No clinical applications are suggested, although one application examines the moderating effect of psychological resilience on the relationship between ill-health and well-being. The original dimensions have been used to assess change over time. The measure was developed through secondary data analysis to provide a model of psychological resilience. The literature review in the introduction makes a good case for the respective psychological resources to be considered as indicators of resilience. These are tested and validated empirically. As these items are from established scales with strong underpinning theory that have been applied across populations from adolescents upwards, the measure has the potential to generalise. As yet it has only been used with people aged 50+. In relation our definition, it is an individual level measure.
13 Ego Resiliency (1)
Klohnen (1996) Adults (18-48) Self report 4 (20) To assess the components of ego-resiliency (confident optimism, productive and autonomous activity, interpersonal warmth and insight, skilled expressiveness). No clinical applications are suggested. The self report measure used in this analysis is based on Block and Block's observer rated assessment of ego resiliency. The author presents a considerable theoretical rationale. The items were drawn from existing data - the California Psychological Inventory (Gough, 1987). This is a 472 item self report inventory with 23 scales that address personality. The full list of items is not presented in the paper and this 29 item measure does not appear to have been utilised in further research. Other comments as for the ER 89.
14 Resilience Scale for Adolescents (READ)
Hjemdal et al. (2006a) Adolescents aged 13-15 years Self report 5 (39) To assess the protective resources of personal competence, social competence, structured style, family cohesion and social resources so as to understand stress adaptation. As with the RSA the authors outline evidence from longitudinal research to identify some of the key features of resilient people. These are presented as family support and cohesion, external support systems and dispositional attitudes and behaviours. The RSA was used as a starting point for the READ items, and were refined based on feedback from seven adolescents. The multi-level nature of the questionnaire is consistent with the assets and resources outlined in our definition.
15 Ego Resiliency (2)
Bromley, Johnson and Cohen (2006) Adolescents and young adults (mean age = 16 and 22) Self report 4 (102) To assess the ego resiliency traits of confident optimism, productive activity, insight and warmth, and skilled expressiveness. The measure of resilience in this paper was derived from a secondary data set and based on Block and Block's ego resiliency theory. The construct is theoretically established. Items were selected, based on their correspondence with the ER measure of Klohnen (1996) and were drawn from a larger, varied set of personality assessments administered previously. The items included assessments of coping skills, ego-integration, impulse control and responsibility, self esteem, social interaction with peers siblings and adults. It examines resilience at the level of the individual only.