Revisioning the Concept of Resilience: Its Manifestation and Impact on Black Americans

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Child and Family Studies


Resilience is defined in different ways. Though there are nuanced differences, most scholars and laypersons alike agree that in its broadest sense, resilience is a positive response to adversity. Resilience is a process; whereas, resilient is an outcome. The process-outcome debate generates a somewhat contrived dichotomy. In recent years, there have been notable attempts to add a greater level of complexity to scientists’ and practitioners’ understanding of resilience by underscoring the impact of contextual factors on an individual’s ability to adapt under dire circumstances. Addressing contextual factors involves revisioning the concept of resilience. Race is context; so, too is the environment in which individuals are embedded. Many Black Americans in high-risk environments may be adversely affected by their own processes of resilience. The process of resilience may very well contribute to allostatic load and weathering. For many Black Americans, persevering and thriving in the face of pervasive adversity has led to significant health challenges—challenges that Medical Family Therapists can address through clinical, financial, operational, and training worlds.

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Contemporary Family Therapy



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