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Are resilience protective factors unique from or just absence indicators of poor mental health?

Are resilience protective factors unique from or just absence indicators of poor mental health?

The construct of resilience has been viewed as the direct counterpart of factors that may jeopardize mental health, i.e., vulnerability and psychopathology. Any operationalization of resilience thus risks lying on the same latent continuum as indicators of mental illness, except indicating their absence. ln this population based study of mental health, protective and vulnerability factors, a second- order factor analysis and a hierarchical regression analysis approach was taken to test this assumption. A random selection of 1724 participants from the normal population of Norway responded to measures of resilience (Resilience Scale for Adults), depression and anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) and vulnerability (the Habit lndex of Negative Thinking), as well as demographics.

All items were discriminated well by their primary factors. A second-order factor analysis extracted two components, which was confirmed on a hold-out sample by confirmatory factor methods. The Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA), measuring protective factors, correlated with both second-order factors. Thus, the RSA shared common variance with the negative mental health measures (i.e., vulnerability and psychopathology), as well as being unique from the illness indicators. A hierarchical regression analysis, testing for interactions between psychosocial stress, vulnerability and resilience, further supported the unique contributions of a resilience measure beyond measures of vulnerability RSA. The critic of resilience protective indicators as solely counterparts of vulnerability and psychopathology is thus not warranted.

Speakers: Oddgeir Friborg
Areas of Interest / Categories: Mental Health, Psychopathology, Resilience


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