Monthly Article Archives: March 2012

To Appreciate Acts of Courage in Our ChildrenRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

As a psychologist who has written extensively about the concept of resilience during the past 30 years, I have been impressed by the increasing use of that term in our daily conversations and in the media. Resilience has been applied to describe an individual, a small group, or even an entire nation in response to certain events. Examples run the gamut from the reaction of people to horrifying, devastating situations such as 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina, to individuals who cope with dignity and perseverance when faced with life-threatening illnesses, to children who have suffered abuse but choose a path filled with hope, and to a sports team that has overcome adversity to win a championship. The surge in prominence of this concept is apparent if one “googles” the word resilient. Thousands upon thousands of citations appear, many of which contain accounts of people who have overcome significant obstacles in their life journeys. Paralleling the diversity of examples that have been designated under the umbrella of resilience are the different definitions of the concept. As I have noted in previous writings and seminars, the research conducted to study resilience has focused primarily on youngsters who have coped successfully with trauma and

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