Resilience and Mental Health: Challenges Across the Lifespan

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Humans are remarkably resilient in the face of crises, traumas, disabilities, attachment losses and ongoing adversities. To date, most research in the field of traumatic stress has focused on neurobiological, psychological and social factors associated with trauma-related psychopathology and deficits in psychosocial functioning. Far less is known about resilience to stress and healthy adaptation to stress and trauma. This book brings together experts from a broad array of scientific fields whose research has focused on adaptive responses to stress. Each of the five sections in the book examines the relevant concepts, spanning from factors that contribute to and promote resilience, to populations and societal systems in which resilience is employed, to specific applications and contexts of resilience and interventions designed to better enhance resilience. This will be suitable for clinicians and researchers who are interested in resilience across the lifespan and in response to a wide variety of stressors.
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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book focuses on how resilience is manifested in childhood, adulthood, and older adulthood, from both an individual and community basis. It also addresses resilience in the face of specific traumatic situations.
Purpose: According to the editors, the book "has brought together experts from a broad array of scientific fields whose research has focused on adaptive responses to stress."
Audience: The intended audience includes clinicians and researchers, but graduate students in psychology and social work also would gain much from this book. The editors include a professor of psychiatry at Yale, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at Boston University, a professor of psychiatry at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and the executive director for the National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, who is also a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology and toxicology at Dartmouth Medical School.
Features: In the preface, the editors agree that there are many definitions of resilience. In 2010, the American Psychological Association defined resilience as "the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of threat." The book begins with the various pathways to resilience including neurobiological, cognitive, personality, and spiritual factors. Neurobiology looks at homeostasis and allostasis. Cognitive approaches explore social cognitive theory and self-efficacy. Personality factors reflect hardiness, PEM (positive emotionality/extraversion, NEM (negative emotionality/neuroticism), and CON (constraint/impulsivity). Finally, spiritual factors reflect an acknowledgment of a higher power and connection to a religious community. Next, the authors describe resilience across the lifespan. Children depend on good caregiving, self-regulation, and self-efficacy. Resilient adults can overcome PTEs (potentially traumatic events) by continuing to have healthy psychological and physical functioning. This book also looks at resilience from a macro level, such as families, communities, and societies. One section covers specific issues including disaster relief, sexual assault, terrorism, and serious mental illness. Finally, the authors explore how to increase resilience in both adults and children, as well as military personnel. In chapter 6, on religious and spiritual factors, the authors describe the spiritual journey in six stages while also considering "spiritual red flags." The chapter ends with a review of forgiveness interventions. The tables, figures, and boxes are very informative. Many of the chapters contain conclusions and clinical implications.
Assessment: Written by the leading experts in the field, this book has a solid research foundation and contains practical applications. Given the various stressors and traumas that people face, this book will help therapists better understand their clients and provide a framework for how to proceed in treatment.
From the Publisher
"This volume is an important resource for all mental health clinicians and others interested in trauma and resilience … especially useful for pragmatic clinical psychiatrists who spend little time with current academic psychology. After exposure to the thinking and clinical research included in this text, they should be able to use the material in psychoeducational and psychotherapeutic as well as psychopharmacologic approaches to their patients."
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

"Readable with clearly presented concepts and well-referenced appraisal of the evidence."
Journal of Occupational Medicine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521898393
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2011
  • Pages: 382
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven M. Southwick is Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine and Yale Child Study Center, New Haven, CT, USA.

Brett Litz is Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.

Dennis S. Charney is Dean and Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Matthew J. Friedman is Executive Director, National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, US Department of Veterans Affairs and Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology and Toxicology, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, USA.

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Table of Contents

Preface; Part I. Pathways to Resilience: 1. Neurobiology of resilience Adriana Feder and Kate Collins; 2. Resilience in the face of stress: emotion regulation as a protective factor Allison S. Troy and Iris Mauss; 3. Cognitive factors and resilience: how self-efficacy contributes to coping with adversities Charles C. Benight and Roman Cieslak; 4. Personality factors in resilience to traumatic stress Mark Miller and Kelly M. Harrington; 5. Social ties and resilience in chronic disease Denise Janicki-Deverts and Sheldon Cohen; 6. Religious and spiritual factors in resilience Dave W. Foy, Kent D. Drescher and Patricia J. Watson; Part II. Resilience Across the Lifespan: 7. Resilience in children and adolescents Ann S. Masten, Amy R. Monn and Laura M. Supkoff; 8. Toward a lifespan approach to resilience and potential trauma George A. Bonanno and Anthony D. Mancini; 9. Resilience in older adults Diane L. Elmore, Lisa M. Brown and Joan M. Cook; Part III. Resilience in Families, Communities, and Societies: 10. Family resilience: a collaborate approach in response to stressful life challenges Froma Walsh; 11. Community resilience: concepts, assessment, and implications for intervention Fran H. Norris, Kathleen Sherrieb and Betty Pfefferbaum; 12. Trauma, culture and resiliency Carl C. Bell; Part IV. Specific Challenges: 13. Loss and grief: the role of individual differences Anthony D. Mancini and George Bonanno; 14. Reorienting resilience: adapting resilience for post-disaster research Jennifer Johnson and Sandro Galea; 15. Rape and other sexual assault Heidi S. Resnick, Constance Guille, Jenna L. McCauley and Dean G. Kilpatrick; 16. The stress continuum model: a military organizational approach to resilience and recovery William P. Nash, Maria Steenkamp, Lauren Conoscenti and Brett Litz; 17. Resilience in the face of terrorism: linking resource investment with engagement Stevan E. Hobfoll, Brian Hall, Katie J. Horsey and Brittain E. Lamoureux; 18. Resilience in the context of poverty John C. Buckner and Jessica S. Waters; 19. Resiliency in persons with serious mental illness Piper S. Meyer and Kim T. Mueser; Part V. Training for Resilience; 20. Interventions to enhance resilience and resilience-related constructs in adults Steven M. Southwick, Robert H. Pietrzak and Jerry White; 21. Childhood resilience: adaptation, mastery and attachment Angie Torres, Steven Southwick and Linda C. Mayes; 22. Military mental health training: building resilience Carl Andrew Castro and Amy B. Adler; 23. Public health practice and disaster resilience: a framework integrating resilience as a worker protection strategy Dori B. Reissman, Kathleen M. Kowalski-Trakofler and Craig L. Katz; Index.
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