The Resilience Portfolio Model examines the protective factors and processes that promote resilience in children and adults who have been exposed to violence. There is a large body of research revealing common themes that have allowed people to maintain or regain healthy brain functioning following exposure to violence. Scientists have classified these factors into assets, resources, and coping responses.
Skillsthat contribute to resilience include self-regulation (the ability to sustain and support goal-driven behavior), and emotional regulation (the ability to generate and sustain positive emotions). Additionally, the ability to maintain focus, plan, and achieve help construct a positive self-image. Healthy, positive relationships are also incredibly important, since individuals with strong social support from their friends and family tend to suffer less following traumatic events. For children, the most important relationship for building resilience is with their caregiver. A nurturing school and community environment also promote resilience.
Coping responses have to do with the perspective an individual takes on an adverse experience. Research shows that people who have a strong sense of purpose are more likely to view a negative event as something they can control. This perceived control can help prevent depression and anxiety. Thus, people who believe an adverse experience made them stronger tend to be happier and more productive.
These findings demonstrate a number of ways to build resilience following an adverse experience, for oneself or for others recovering from a negative event. Providing a caring relationship or being part of a supportive community may make all the difference!