Handbook of Family Resilience

pp 441-455


Strengthening Family Resilience Through Spiritual and Religious Resources

  • Karen CaldwellAffiliated withAppalachian State University Email author 
  • , Karolyn SenterAffiliated withWashington University

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How do families not only survive but thrive when faced with adversity, hardship, loss, or trauma? What processes of endurance, growth, meaning-making, and healing are at the heart of resilience? Walsh (1998) defines resilience as “the capacity to rebound from adversity strengthened and more resourceful… the qualities of resilience enable people to heal from painful wounds, take charge of their lives, and go on to live fully and love well” (p. 4). Spirituality and religion can be significant resources in individual and family resilience. A spiritual or religious worldview provides beliefs, values, practices, and relationships that can strengthen resilience. These powerful forces also can increase suffering and block recovery, making it vital to understand their processes and influences on individuals and families.