The Resilience Activation Framework: a Conceptual Model of How Access to Social Resources Promotes Adaptation and Rapid Recovery in Post-disaster Settings

  • David M. Abramson
  • Lynn M. Grattan
  • Brian Mayer
  • Craig E. Colten
  • Farah A. Arosemena
  • Ariane Bedimo-Rung
  • Maureen Lichtveld


A number of governmental agencies have called for enhancing citizens’ resilience as a means of preparing populations in advance of disasters, and as a counterbalance to social and individual vulnerabilities. This increasing scholarly, policy, and programmatic interest in promoting individual and communal resilience presents a challenge to the research and practice communities: to develop a translational framework that can accommodate multidisciplinary scientific perspectives into a single, applied model. The Resilience Activation Framework provides a basis for testing how access to social resources, such as formal and informal social support and help, promotes positive adaptation or reduced psychopathology among individuals and communities exposed to the acute collective stressors associated with disasters, whether human-made, natural, or technological in origin. Articulating the mechanisms by which access to social resources activate and sustain resilience capacities for optimal mental health outcomes post-disaster can lead to the development of effective preventive and early intervention programs.


Social Capital Social Resource Community Resilience Behavioral Health Intervention Informal Social Support 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Support for this project comes from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences awards: U19ES020683, R5U19ES020677, U19ES020676, and 1U01ES021497. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) or the National Institutes of Health. We gratefully acknowledge the support and contributions of Lorien Baker, Sparkle Roberts, and Sailor Holobaugh from the Neurology Department at the University of Maryland for their assistance in the preparation of this paper, as well as Chris Mundorf from the Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences at Tulane University. We thank Jenny Hay and Alexandra Giancarlo from the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Louisiana State University for their manuscript contributions. In addition, the leadership of Edward J. Trapido and Edward S. Peters from the School of Public Health at Louisiana State University, and J. Glenn Morris from the Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida is greatly appreciated in the implementation of this project. The members of the Resilience Working Group of the Gulf Coast Research Consortia are also grateful for the help and support of NIEHS officers Claudia Thompson, Allen Dearry, and Symma Finn. The views expressed in this article, however, are solely those of the authors.

Conflict of Interest



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Copyright information

© National Council for Behavioral Health 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Abramson
    • 1
  • Lynn M. Grattan
    • 2
  • Brian Mayer
    • 3
  • Craig E. Colten
    • 4
  • Farah A. Arosemena
    • 6
  • Ariane Bedimo-Rung
    • 5
  • Maureen Lichtveld
    • 6
  1. 1.National Center for Disaster Preparedness & Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.School of MedicineUniversity of MarylandBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.College of Social and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Geography and AnthropologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  5. 5.School of Public HealthLouisiana State University Health Sciences CenterNew OrleansUSA
  6. 6.School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA

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