Skip to main content

Relational Resilience in Girls

  • Chapter

Abstract

This chapter, mainly theoretical in orientation, also reviews recent research on resilience and gender. The theoretical orientation represented here is known as relational-cultural theory (RCT). At the core of this work is the belief that all psychological growth occurs in relationships, and that movement out of relationship (chronic disconnection) into isolation constitutes the source of much psychological suffering. Moving away from a “separate self” model of development, RCT also suggests that resilience resides not in the individual but in the capacity for connection. A model of relational resilience is presented. Mutual empathy, empowerment, and the development of courage are the building blocks of this resilience. Although this chapter seeks to explicate the importance of relational resilience for girls, it also suggests that growth-fostering connections are the source of resilience for both boys and girls.

Keywords

  • Relational Competence
  • Social Esteem
  • North American Culture
  • African American Female Adolescent
  • Relational Resilience

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  • Banks, A. (2000). Post-traumatic stress disorder: Brain chemistry and relationships. Project Report No. 8. Wellesley, MA: Stone Center Working Paper Series.

    Google Scholar 

  • Belle, D. (1987). Gender differences in the social moderators of stress. In D. Belle (Ed.), Gender differences in the social moderators of stress (pp. 257–277). New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brooks, R., & Goldstein, S. (2001). Raising resilient children. New York: Contemporary.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burnett, P. C., & Demnar, W. J. (1996). The relationships between closeness to significant others and self-esteem. Journal of Family Studies, 1(2), 121–129.

    Google Scholar 

  • Collins, P. H. (2000). Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness and the politics of empowerment. New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dumont, M., & Provost, M. A. (1999). Resilience in adolescents: Protective role of social support, coping strategies, and self-esteem and social activities on experience of stress and depression. Journal of Youth and Adolescents, 28(3), 343–363.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Dweck, C., & Goetz, T. (1978). Attributions and learned helplessness. In J. H Harvery, W. Ickes, & R. F. Kidd (Eds.), New directions in attribution research (Vol. 2, pp.). Hilldale, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dweck, C., & Reppucci, N. (1973). Learned helplessness and reinforcement responsibility in children. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 25, 1090–1160.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Franz, C. E. & Stewart, A. J. (Eds.). (1994). Women creating lives: Identities, resilience and resistance. Boulder, CO: Westview.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ganellen, R. J., & Blaney, R. H. (1984). Hardiness and social support as moderators of the effects of stress. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47(1), 156–163.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Genero, N. (1995). Culture, resiliency and mutual psychological development. In H. I. McCubbin, E. A. Thompson, A. I. Thompson, & J. A. Gutrell (Eds.), Resiliency in ethnic minority families: African American families (pp. 1–18). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gilligan, C. (1990). Joining the resistance. Psychology, politics, girls and women. Michigan Quarterly Review, 29, 501–536.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gilligan, C., Lyons, N., & Hanmer, T. (1990). Making connections: The relational worlds of adolescent girls at Emma Willard School. Troy, NY: Emma Willard School.

    Google Scholar 

  • Harter, S. (1993). Causes and consequences of low self-esteem in children and adolescents. In R. Baumeister (Ed.), Self-esteem: The puzzle of low self regard. New York: Plenum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hartling, L. (2003). Strengthening resilience in a risky world: It’s all about relationships. Work in Progress No. 101. Wellesley Centers for Women.

    Google Scholar 

  • hooks, b. (1984). Feminist theory: From margin to center. Boston: South End Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jenkins, Y. M. (1993). Diversity and social esteem. In J. L. Chin, V. DaLacamelas, & Y. M. Jenkins (Eds.), Diversity in psychotherapy: The politics of race, ethnicity and gender (pp. 45–63). Westport, CT: Praeger.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jordan, J. V. (1987). Clarity in connection: Empathic knowing, desire and sexuality. Work in Progress No. 39. Wellesley, MA: Stone Center Working Paper Series.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jordan, J. V. (1989). Relational development: Therapeutic implications of empathy and shame. Work in Progress No. 39. Wellsley, MA: Stone Center Working Paper Series.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jordan, J. V. (1990). Courage in connection: Conflict, compassion, creativity. Work in Progress No. 45. Wellesley, MA: Stone Center Working Paper Series.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jordan, J. (1992). Relational resilience. Work in Progress No. 57. Wellesley, MA: Stone Center Working Paper Series.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jordan, J. V. (1994). A relational perspective on self-esteem. Work in Progress No. 70. Wellesley, MA: Stone Center Working Paper Series.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jordan, J. V. (Ed.) (1997). Women’s growth in diversity: More writings from the Stone Center. New York: Guilford.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jordan J. V. (1999). Toward connection and competence. Work in Progress No. 83. Wellesley, MA: Stone Center Working Paper Series.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jordan, J. V., Kaplan, A. G., Miller, J. B., Stiver, I. P., & Surrey, J. L. (1991). Women’s growth in connection: Writings from the Stone Center. New York: Guilford.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jordan, J. V., & Hartling, L. M. (2002). New developments in relational-cultural theory. In M. Ballou & L. Brown (Eds.), Rethinking mental health and disorder (pp. 48–70). New York: Guilford.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kobasa, S. C. (1979). Stressful life events, personality and health: An inquiry into hardiness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1–11.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal and coping. New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Luks, A. (1992). The healing power of doing good. New York: Faucett Columbine.

    Google Scholar 

  • Masten, A. S., Best, K. M., & Garmezy, N. (1990). Resilience and development: Contributions from the study of children who overcome adversity. Development and Psychopathology, 2, 425–444.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Miller, J. B. (1976). Toward a new psychology of women. Boston: Beacon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Miller, J. B. (1985). The construction of anger in women and men. Work in Progress No. 4. Wellesley, MA: Stone Center Working Paper Series.

    Google Scholar 

  • Miller, J. B., & Stiver, I. P. (1997). The healing connection: How women form relationships in therapy and in life. Boston: Beacon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Peterson, C., Schwarz, S., & Seligman, M. (1981). Self blame and depressive symptoms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41(2), 253–259.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Pipher, M. (1994). Reviving Ophelia. New York: Grosset/Putnam.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pollack, W. S. (1998). Real boys: Rescuing our sons from the myths of boyhood. New York: Random House.

    Google Scholar 

  • Resnick, M., Bearman, P., Blum, R., Bauman, H., Harris, K., Jones, J. et al. (1997). Protecting adolescents from harm: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health. Journal of the American Medical Association, 278(10), 823–832.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Resnick, M. D., Harris, L. J., & Blum, R. W. (1993). The impact of caring and connectedness on adolescent health and well-being. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 29(1), S3–S9.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Robinson, T., & Ward, J. (1991). A belief in self far greater than anyone’s disbelief: Cultivating resistance among African American female adolescents. In C. Gilligan, A. Rogers, & D. Tolman (Eds.), Women, girls and psychotherapy: Reframing resistance (pp. 87–103). New York: Harrington.

    Google Scholar 

  • Roediger, H. L., Capaldi, E. D., Paris, S. G., & Polivy, J. (1991). Psychology. New York: HarperCollins.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rutter, M. (1978). Early sources of security and competence. In J. Bruner, & A. Garton (Eds.), Human growth and development (pp. 33–61). Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rutter, M. (1989). Temperament: Conceptual issues and clinical implications. In G. A. Kohnstarmm, Jr., D. Bates, & M. K. Rothbart (Eds.), Temperament in childhood (pp. 463–479). New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rutter, M. (1990). Psychological resilience and protective mechanisms. In J. Rolf, A. Master, D. Cicchetti, K. H. Nuechterlein, & S. Weintraub (Eds.), Risk and protective factors in development of psychopathology (pp. 181–214). New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schwalbe, M., & Staples, C. (1991). Gender differences in sources of self esteem. Social Psychology Quarterly, 54(2), 158–168.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Siegel, D. J. (1999). The developing mind: Toward a neurobiology of interpersonal experience. New York: Guilford.

    Google Scholar 

  • Seligman, M. (1990). Learned optimism. New York: Pocket Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Simmons, R. (2002). Odd girl out: The hidden culture of aggression in girls. New York: Harcourt.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sparks, E. (1999). Against the odds. Resistance and resilience in African American welfare mothers. Work in Progress, No. 81. Wellesley, MA: Stone Center Working Paper Series.

    Google Scholar 

  • Spencer, R. (2000). A comparison of relational psychologies. Work in Progress, No. 5. Wellesley, MA: Stone Center Working Paper Series.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sperberg, E. D., & Stabb, S. D. (1998). Depression in women as related to anger and mutuality in relationships. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 22, 223–238.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Spiegel, D. (1991). A psychosocial intervention and survival time of patients with metastatic breast cancer. Advances, 7(3), 10–19.

    Google Scholar 

  • Taylor, S. E., Klein, L. C., Lewis, B. P, Greuenwarld, T. C., Gurney, R. A., & Upfdegraff, J. A. (2000). Biobehavioral responses to stress in females: Tend-and-befriend, not fight-or-flight. Psychological Review, 102(3), 411–429.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Tomkins, S. (1987). Shame. In D. Nathanson (Ed.), The many faces of shame. New York: Guilford.

    Google Scholar 

  • Walker, M. (2002). Power and effectiveness: Envisioning and alternative paradigm. Work in Progress, No. 94. Wellesley, MA: Stone Center Working Paper Series.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ward, J. (2002). The skin we’re in: Teaching our children to be emotionally strong, socially smart, spiritually connected. New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • White, R. (1959). Motivation reconsidered: The concept of competence. Psychological Review, 66, 297–333.

    PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2005 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Jordan, J.V. (2005). Relational Resilience in Girls. In: Goldstein, S., Brooks, R.B. (eds) Handbook of Resilience in Children. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/0-306-48572-9_6

Download citation