Resilience as a Dispositional Quality: Some Methodological Points: Joan McCord
A resilient institution is one that shows little change despite its losses. We speak of resilient people as well as institutions, but this does not mean that a resilient person shows little change as a result of adverse experiences. People do change. In fact, one could argue that a mark of personal resilience is the degree to which a person changes in response to altered circumstances. At a minimum, constancy seems an inadequate criterion for personal resilience. Resilience implies that a person thrives despite adversity, or perhaps because of it. For example, financial hardship seems to promote survival skills among some children (Elder, 1974). Being reared by schizophrenics has, according to Manfred Bleuler (1974), "a steeling-hardening effect-on some children, rendering them capable of mastering life with all its obstacles" (p. 106). Paternal loss, unemployment, and parental conflict apparently sometimes promote subsequent warmth within the family of procreation (McCord, 1984).