A Conceptual Analysis of Interpersonal Resilience as a Key Resilience Domain: Understanding the Ability to Overcome Child Sexual Abuse and Other Adverse Interpersonal Contexts
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Keywords

Resilience
Stress
Trauma
Maltreatment
Interpersonal resilience

How to Cite

Flett, G. L., Flett, A. L., & Wekerle, C. (2015). A Conceptual Analysis of Interpersonal Resilience as a Key Resilience Domain: Understanding the Ability to Overcome Child Sexual Abuse and Other Adverse Interpersonal Contexts . International Journal of Child and Adolescent Resilience (IJCAR), 3(1), 4-33. Retrieved from https://www.ijcar-rirea.ca/index.php/ijcar-rirea/article/view/173

Abstract

Objectives: We conduct a conceptual analysis of interpersonal resilience as a domainspecific type of resilience, based on the premise that it is a multi-faceted construct. We consider interpersonal resilience within the context of child sexual abuse (CSA) as an under-attended and salient interpersonal stressor with profound implications involving the self and personal identity. Undoubtedly the most under-reported form of abuse, we examine the statistics known-to-date to highlight urgent areas for attention, pressing for resilience and developmentally focused empirical investigation. Methods: Selected publications supporting an analysis of concepts in defining resilience are included. Given the need to conceptually develop how specific types of resilience act as potential targets for intervention and social change in trauma-related contexts, a systematic, meta-analysis, or scoping review is premature. Results: We describe interpersonal resilience as a developed orientation that is deeply rooted in self and identity issues. Interpersonal resilience incorporates processes that develop a sense of interpersonal efficacy, social self-esteem, mattering, and selfcompassion that may buffer against negative social experiences, specifically the traumatic event of CSA embedded within adverse contexts. Conclusions and Implications: Interpersonal resilience is a distinct type of resilience, distinguishable from emotional resilience and dispositional traits. Empirical research on the nature of interpersonal resilience in challenging contexts is warranted. Intervention programs need to be expanded to include an explicit emphasis on practical resilience strategies, including promoting interpersonal resilience through skill-development, mentoring, and community-based opportunities. 

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