© 2013

Handbook of Family Resilience

  • Dorothy S. Becvar

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Resilience in General

  3. Resilience and Families

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 83-83
    2. Marilyn Coleman, Lawrence Ganong, Luke T. Russell
      Pages 85-103
    3. Jared R. Anderson, Yvonne Amanor-Boadu, Sandra M. Stith, Rachel E. Foster
      Pages 105-118
    4. Ivelisse Torres Fernandez, Jonathan P. Schwartz, Heejung Chun, Ginger Dickson
      Pages 119-136
    5. Michael Ungar
      Pages 137-152
  4. Resilience and Ethnicity

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 173-173
    2. Laurie D. McCubbin, Hamilton I. McCubbin
      Pages 175-195
    3. Rockey Robbins, Sharla Robbins, Brad Stennerson
      Pages 197-213
    4. J. Maria Bermudez, Jay A. Mancini
      Pages 215-227
    5. Leslie D. Hollingsworth
      Pages 229-243
    6. Sandra Rigazio-DiGilio, Ppudah Ki
      Pages 245-266
  5. Resilience, Loss, and Grief

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 267-267

About this book


In a time of increasing stressors affecting the lives of so many, resilience—the capacity for individuals to cope, adapt, survive, and thrive despite severe crises and long odds—is a hot topic. Now resilience as both a family trait and a family process is being recognized as equally deserving of study, especially as more families find themselves under greater social and economic strain.

The Handbook of Family Resilience offers scholarly and practical perspectives on how resilient families adapt and adjust, for those seeking a deeper understanding of the concept as well as clinicians working hands-on with families. Resilience is seen as an evolving process over the lifespan as family members support one another, marshal their resources (internal and external), and maintain their functioning through normative, extraordinary, and multiple stressors. Contributors examine resilience across a diverse range of family structures, cultural groups, and challenging circumstances, with an array of timely topics including:

  • Clinical ramifications of a focus on family resilience.
  • Family resilience in the context of high-risk situations.
  • Resilience in ethnic family systems.
  • Enhancing resilience in families of children with autistic spectrum disorder.
  • From challenge to wisdom: Resilience in aging.
  • Family and community resilience in the experience of mass trauma.
  • Resilience as tolerance for ambiguity.
  • Resilience in the context of grief and loss.

This book is an empowering resource for professionals and practitioners working with families, including sociologists, psychologists, therapists, and social workers. Its breadth of coverage makes it an invaluable text for researchers, graduate students, and faculty in family studies, couple and family therapy, child development, psychology, sociology, social work, public health, and related fields.


Battered Women Bereavement Community-Based Practice Domestic violence Families and Autism Family Resilience and Sexuality Family and Community Resilience Family crisis Family strengths Family violence Resilience in Aging

Editors and affiliations

  • Dorothy S. Becvar
    • 1
  1. 1., School of Social WorkSaint Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA

About the editors

Dorothy Becvar is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist with 30 years of experience in both academia and private practice. Dorothy is a former Editor of Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal. She has published extensively and in addition to many journal articles and book chapters is the author of the books Families that Flourish: Facilitating Resilience in Clinical Practice (Norton, 2007), In the Presence of Grief: Helping Family Members Resolve Death, Dying and Bereavement Issues (Guilford Press, 2001) and Soul Healing: A Spiritual Orientation in Counseling and Therapy (Basic Books, 1997) as well as the editor of the book The Family, Spirituality and Social Work (Haworth, 1997). With her husband, Raphael J. Becvar, she has co-authored four books: Family Therapy: A Systemic Integration (Allyn & Bacon, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009), Pragmatics of Human Relationships (Geist & Russell, 1998), Hot Chocolate for a Cold Winter's Night: Essays for Relationship Development (Love Publishing, 1994), and Systems Theory and Family Therapy: A Primer (University Press of America, 1982, 1999). And she is co-editor, with William Nichols, Mary Anne Pace-Nichols and Augustus Napier, of the Handbook of Family Development and Intervention (Wiley, 2000).

Bibliographic information


"…Dorothy Becvar brings together an A-plus group of multidisciplinary experts in the field of family research and practice to examine the construct of resilience across diverse family structures, cultural groups, and hardships.

Overall, Handbook of Family Resilience is a well-written, comprehensive book that may leave its readers with more questions than answers. Calling for a paradigm shift in how families are conceptualized, studied, and treated, this pioneering book belongs on the shelves of anyone interested in working families experiencing stressful life events. It is a must read."

-PsycCRITIQUES, Debra Zand, Ph.D., St. Louis University, MO, USA