Despite growing understanding of resilience as a process associated with both individual capacities and physical and relational resources located in social ecologies, most instruments designed to measure resilience overemphasize individual characteristics without adequately addressing the contextual resources that support resilience processes. Additionally, most resilience studies have focused on children and youth, without significant attention to social ecological factors that promote post-risk adaptation for adults and how this is measured. Consequently, a key issue in the continued study of adult resilience is measurement instrument development. This article details adaptation of the Child and Youth Resilience Measure for use with an adult population. The article draws on data from a mixed methods study exploring the resilience processes of Irish survivors of clerical institutional abuse. The sample included 105 adult survivors (aged 50–99) who completed the RRC-ARM and the Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) during the first phase of the study. Exploratory factor analysis, Cronbach Alpha and MANOVA were conducted on the data. EFA identified five factors; social/community inclusion, family attachment and supports, spirituality, national and cultural identity, and personal competencies. The RRC-ARM shows good internal reliability and convergent validity with the WEMWBS, with significant differences on scale scores for men and women, as well as place of residence. This exploratory adaptation supports the potential of the RRC-ARM as a measure of social ecological resilience resources for adult populations and may have particular applications with vulnerable communities. Further validation is required in other contexts and specifically with larger samples.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Ahern, N., Kiehl, E., Lou Sole, M., & Byers, J. (2006). A review of instruments measuring resilience. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing. doi:10.1080/01460860600677643.
Anthony, E. (1974). The syndrome of the psychologically vulnerable child. In E. J. Anthony & C. Koupernik (Eds.), The Child in His Family (1st ed., pp. 3–10). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Arrindell, W. A., & Van der Ende, J. (1985). An empirical test of the utility of the observer-to-variables ratio in factor and components analysis. Applied Psychological Measurement, 9, 165–178.
Bolger, K., & Patterson, C. (2003). Sequelae of child maltreatment: Vulnerability and resilience. In S. S. Luthar (Ed.), Resilience and vulnerability: Adaptation in the context of childhood adversity (pp. 156–182). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Bonanno, G., & Diminich, E. (2012). Annual Research Review: Positive adjustment to adversity—trajectories of minimal-impact resilience and emergent resilience. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12021.
Bonanno, G., Papa, A., Lalande, K., Westphal, M., & Coifman, K. (2004). The importance of being flexible. Psychological Science. doi:10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00705.x.
Bottrell, D. (2009). Understanding ‘marginal’ perspectives: Towards a social theory of resilience. Qualitative Social Work Research & Practice. doi:10.1177/1473325009337840.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Carr, A. (2009). The psychological adjustment of adult survivors of institutional abuse in Ireland. Report submitted to the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (Chapter Three). Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Report (The Ryan Report). Dublin: Government of Ireland.
Carr, A., Dooley, B., Fitzpatrick, M., Flanagan, E., Flanagan-Howard, R., Tierney, K., et al. (2010). Adult adjustment of survivors of institutional child abuse in Ireland. Child Abuse and Neglect. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2009.11.003.
Castro, F. G., Stein, J. A., & Bentler, P. M. (2009). Ethnic pride, traditional family values, and acculturation in early cigarette and alcohol use among Latino adolescents. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 30(3), 265–292.
Cicchetti, D. (2010). Resilience under conditions of extreme stress: A multilevel perspective. World Psychiatry, 9, 145–154.
Cicchetti, D., & Curtis, W. J. (2006). The developing brain and neural plasticity: Implications for normality, psychopathology and resilience. In D. Cicchetti & D. Cohen (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology: Vol. 2 Developmental Neuroscience (2nd ed., pp. 1–64). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Press.
Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. (1991). The making of a developmental psychopathologist. In J. Cantor, C. Spiker, & L. Lipsitt (Eds.), Child behavior and development: Training for diversity (pp. 34–72). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.
Collins, K., Onwuegbuzie, A., & Jiao, Q. (2007). A mixed methods investigation of mixed methods sampling designs in social and health science research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(3), 267–294. doi:10.1177/1558689807299526.
Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. (2009). Report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse. Dublin: Stationary Office. Retrieved from http://www.childabusecommission.com/rpt/pdfs/.
Connor, K., & Davidson, J. (2003). Development of a new resilience scale: The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). Depression and Anxiety. doi:10.1002/da.10113.
Conway, E. (2012). Uncertain legacies: Resilience and institutional abuse. Scottish Government Social Research. Retrieved from http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/15021/1/00395793.pdf.
Cowen, E., Work, W., & Wyman, P. (1997). The Rochester Child Resilience Project (RCRP): Facts found, lessons learned, future directions divined. In S. S. Luthar, J. A. Burack, D. Cicchetti, & J. R. Weisz (Eds.), Developmental psychopathology: Perspectives on adjustment, risk, and disorder (pp. 527–547). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Danieli, Y., & Norris, F. (2016). A Multidimensional Exploration of the Effects of Identity Ruptures is Israeli and North America Holocaust Survivors. Kavod; Honoring Aging Survivors, 6, n. pag.
Delaney, L., Fernihough, A., & Smith, J. (2012). Exporting poor health: The Irish in England. SSRN. doi:10.2139/ssrn.1923987.
Denov, M., & Maclure, R. (2007). Turnings and epiphanies: Militarization, life histories, and the making and unmaking of two child soldiers in Sierra Leone. Journal of Youth Studies. doi:10.1080/13676260601120187.
Egeland, B., Carlson, E., & Sroufe, L. A. (1993). Resilience as process. Educational Leadership, 37, 15–24.
Enders, C. (2010). Applied missing data analysis. New York, NY: The Guildford Press.
Farmer, T. (2006). Developing and implementing a triangulation protocol for qualitative health research. Qualitative Health Research, 16(3), 377–394. doi:10.1177/1049732305285708.
Flanagan, E., Carr, A., Dooley, B., Shevlin, R., Tierney, T., White, K., et al. (2010). Profiles of resilient survivors of institutional abuse in Ireland. International Journal of Child & Family Welfare, 12(2–3), 56–73.
Friborg, O., Barlaug, D., Martinussen, M., Rosenvinge, J. H., & Hjemdal, O. (2005). Resilience in relation to personality and intelligence. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research. doi:10.1002/mpr.15.
Gallagher, B. (2000). Ritual, and child sexual abuse, but not ritual child sexual abuse. Child Abuse Review. doi:10.1002/1099-0852(200009/10)9.
Garmezy, N. (1974). The study of competence in children at risk for severe psychopathology. In E. J. Anthony & C. Koupernik (Eds.), The child in his family: Children at psychiatric risk (pp. 77–97). New York, NY: Wiley.
Garmezy, N. (1985). Stress-resistant children: The search for protective factors. In A. Davids (Ed.), Recent research in developmental psychopathology (pp. 213–233). Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.
Gilligan, R. (2008). Promoting resilience in young people in Long term care; the relevance of roles and relationships in the domains of recreation and work. Journal of Social Work Practice. doi:10.1080/02650530701872330.
Guadagnoli, E., & Velicer, F. (1988). Relation to sample size to the stability of component patterns. Psychological Bulletin. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.103.2.265.
Higgins, M. (2010). Developing a Profile of Survivors of abuse in Irish Religious Institutions. Dublin: The Saint Stephens Green Trust. Retrieved from http://www.ssgt.ie/files/developing_a_socio_economic_profile_of_survivors_o.pdf.
Holt, S., Buckley, H., & Whelan, S. (2008). The impact of exposure to domestic violence on children and young people: A review of the literature. Child Abuse and Neglect. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2008.02.004.
Hutcheson, G., & Sofroniou, N. (1999). The multivariate social scientist: Introductory statistics using generalized linear models. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Kolar, K. (2011). Resilience: Revisiting the concept and its utility for social research. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. doi:10.1007/s11469-011-9329-2.
Kremer, H., & Ironson, G. (2014). Longitudinal spiritual coping with trauma in people with HIV: Implications for health care. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. doi:10.1089/apc.2013.0280.
Liebenberg, L., Ungar, M., & Van de Vijver, F. (2012). Validation of the child and youth resilience measure-28 (CYRM-28) among Canadian youth. Research on Social Work Practice. doi:10.1177/1049731511428619.
Luthar, S. (1993). Annotation: Methodological and conceptual issues in the study of resilience. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 34, 441–453.
Luthar, S. (1999). Poverty and children’s adjustment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Luthar, S., Cicchetti, D., & Becker, B. (2000). Research on resilience: Response to commentaries. Child Development. doi:10.1111/1467-8624.00168.
Luthar, S., Sawyer, J., & Brown, P. (2006). Conceptual issues in studies of resilience: Past, present, and future research. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1196/annals.1376.009.
MacCallum, R. C., Widaman, K. F., Zhang, S., & Hong, S. (1999). Sample size in factor analysis: The role of model error. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 36(4), 611–637.
Maheswaran, H., Weich, S., Powell, J., & Stewart-Brown, S. (2012). Evaluating the responsiveness of the Wariwck Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS): Group and individual level analysis. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 10(1), 156.
Masten, A. (2001). Ordinary magic: Resilience processes in development. American Psychologist. doi:10.1037//0003-066x.56.3.227.
Masten, A. (2007). Resilience in developing systems: Progress and promise as the fourth wave rises. Development and Psychopathology, 19, 921–930.
Masten, A. (2014). Ordinary magic: Resilience in development. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Masten, A., Best, K. M., & Garmezy, N. (1990). Resilience and development: Contributions from the study of children who overcome adversity. Development and Psychopathology, 2, 425–444.
Masten, A. S., & Wright, M. O. D. (2010). Resilience over the lifespan: Developmental perspectives on resistance, recovery, and transformation. In J. W. Reich, A. J. Zautra, & J. S. Hall (Eds.), Handbook of adult resilience (pp. 213–237). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
May-Chahal, C., Wilson, A., Humphreys, L., & Anderson, J. (2012). Promoting an evidence-informed approach to addressing problem gambling in UK prison populations. The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2311.2012.00723.x.
Mguni, N., Bacon, N., & Brown, J. (2011). The well-being and Resilience Paradox. London: The Young Foundation. Retrieved from http://youngfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Wellbeing-and-Resilience-Paradox.pdf.
Miller, D., Manne, S., Taylor, K., Keates, J., & Dougherty, J. (1996). Psychological distress and well-being in advanced cancer: The effects of optimism and coping. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings. doi:10.1007/bf01996132.
Moore, J., Thornton, C., & Hughes, M. (2015). On the road to resilience: The help-seeking experiences of Irish emigrant survivors of institutional abuse. Child Abuse Review. doi:10.1002/car.2415.
Munford, R., & Sanders, J. (2015). Young people’s search for agency: Making sense of their experiences and taking control. Qualitative Social Work. doi:10.1177/1473325014565149.
O’Riordan, M., & Arensman, E. (2007). Institutional child sexual abuse and suicidal behaviour: Outcomes of a literature review, consultation meetings and a qualitative study. Dublin: National Suicide Research Foundation. Retrieved from http://nsrf.ie/wp-content/uploads/reports/InstitutionalChildSexualNov07.pdf.
Panter-Brick, C. (2002). Street children, human rights, and public health: A critique and future directions. Annual Review of Anthropology. doi:10.1146/annurev.anthro.31.040402.085359.
Resilience Research Centre. (2013). User’s manual for the Resilience Research Centre-Adult Resilience Measure (RRC-ARM). Halifax, CA: Dalhousie University.
Richardson, G. (2002). The metatheory of resilience and resiliency. Journal of Clinical Psychology. doi:10.1002/jclp.10020.
Rodin, D., & Stewart, D. (2012). Resilience in elderly survivors of child maltreatment. SAGE Open. doi:10.1177/2158244012450293.
Rutter, M. (1987). Psychosocial resilience and protective mechanisms. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 57, 316–331.
Rutter, M. (1990). Psychosocial resilience and protective mechanisms. In J. Rolf, A. S. Masten, D. Cicchetti, K. H. Nuechterlein, & S. Weintraub (Eds.), Risk and protective factors in the development of psychopathology (pp. 181–214). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Rutter, M. (1999). Social context: Meanings, measures and mechanisms. European Review. doi:10.1017/s106279870000380x.
Rutter, M. (2000). Children in substitute care: Some conceptual considerations and research implications. Children and Youth Services Review. doi:10.1016/s0190-7409(00)00116-x.
Sanders, J., Munford, R., Thimasarn-Anwar, T., & Liebenberg, L. (2015). Validation of the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM-28) on a sample of at-risk New Zealand Youth. Research on Social Work Practice. doi:10.1177/1049731515614102.
Shrira, A., Palgi, Y., Ben-Ezra, M., & Shmotkin, D. (2010). Do Holocaust survivors show increased vulnerability or resilience to post-Holocaust cumulative adversity? Journal of Traumatic Stress. doi:10.1002/jts.20524.
Singh, A., Hays, D., Chung, Y., & Watson, L. (2010). South Asian immigrant women who have survived child sexual abuse: Resilience and healing. Violence Against Women. doi:10.1177/1077801210363976.
Smith, B., Dalen, J., Wiggins, K., Tooley, E., Christopher, P., & Bernard, J. (2008). The brief resilience scale: Assessing the ability to bounce back. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. doi:10.1080/10705500802222972.
Souri, H., & Hasanirad, T. (2011). Relationship between resilience, optimism and psychological well-being in students of medicine. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 30, 1541–1544.
Stevens, J. (2002). Applied multivariate statistics for the social sciences. New York, NY: Routledge.
Stewart-Brown, S., & Janmohamed, K. (2008). The Warwick and Edinburgh Mental Well Being Scale; User Guide. Warwick: Warwick University. Retrieved from http://www.cppconsortium.nhs.uk/admin/files/1343987601WEMWBS%20User%20Guide%20Version%201%20June%202008.pdf.
Tennant, R., Hiller, L., Fishwick, R., Platt, S., Joseph, S., Weich, S., et al. (2007). The Warwick–Edinburgh mental well-being scale (WEMWBS): Development and UK validation. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 5(1), 63.
Theron, L., & Theron, A. (2013). Positive adjustment to poverty: How family communities encourage resilience in traditional African contexts. Culture & Psychology, 19(3), 391–413.
Thomas, S., & Hall, J. (2008). Life trajectories of female child abuse survivors thriving in adulthood. Qualitative Health Research, 18(2), 149–166. doi:10.1177/1049732307312201.
Tilki, M., Ryan, L., D’Angelo, A., & Sales, R. (2009). The Forgotten Irish. London. Middlesex University. Retrieved from https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/6350/1/Tilki-Forgotten_Irish.pdf.
Ungar, M., & Liebenberg, L. (2005). The International Resilience Project: A mixed-methods approach to the study of resilience across cultures. In M. Ungar (Ed.), Handbook for working with children and youth: Pathways to resilience across cultures and contexts (pp. 211–226). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Ungar, M., & Liebenberg, L. (2011). Assessing resilience across cultures using mixed methods: Construction of the child and youth resilience measure. Journal of Mixed Methods Research. doi:10.1177/1558689811400607.
Werner, E. (1992). The children of Kauai: Resiliency and recovery in adolescence and adulthood1. Journal of Adolescent Health, 13(4), 262–268.
Werner, E., & Smith, R. (1982). Vulnerable but invincible: A study of resilient children. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Windle, G. (2010). What is resilience? A review and concept analysis. Reviews in Clinical Gerontology, 21(2), 152–169. doi:10.1017/s0959259810000420.
Windle, G., Bennett, K., & Noyes, J. (2011). A methodological review of resilience measurement scales. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 9(1), 8.
Wink, P., Ciciolla, L., Dillon, M., & Tracy, A. (2007). Religiousness, spiritual seeking, and personality: Findings from a longitudinal study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(5), 1051–1070.
Wolfe, D., Jaffe, P., Jette, J., & Poisson, S. (2003). The impact of child abuse in community institutions and organizations: Advancing professional and scientific understanding. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 10(2), 179–191.
Woodhead, M. (2004). Psychosocial impacts of child work: A framework for research, monitoring and intervention. The International Journal of Children’s Rights, 12, 321–377.
Wright, M. O. D., Masten, A. S., & Narayan, A. J. (2013). Resilience processes in development: Four waves of research on positive adaptation in the context of adversity. In S. Goldstein & R. B. Brooks (Eds.), Handbook of resilience in children (pp. 15–37). New York, NY: Springer.
About this article
Cite this article
Liebenberg, L., Moore, J.C. A Social Ecological Measure of Resilience for Adults: The RRC-ARM. Soc Indic Res 136, 1–19 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-016-1523-y
- Adult resilience
- Resilience measure
- Social ecology
- Institutional childhood abuse