Family Development

Journal Articles for Resilience

We invite you to take a look at our list of journal articles. We have provided articles on the topic of resilience and how it effects and connects to the unique needs and situations of military children, couples, and families. Each title is linked to a webpage that has more information on how to obtain this literature. Feel free to contact us if you have others to recommend so we can add to our growing list.


Fraser, M.W., Kirby, L.D., & Smokowski, P.R. (2004). Risk and resilience in childhood. In M.W. Fraser (Ed.), Risk and resilience in childhood: An ecological perspective (2nd Ed.). Washington, DC: NASW Press.
Risk and Resilience in Childhood: An Ecological Perspective, 2nd Edition takes a major leap forward from other social work texts to probe not only risk but resilience and the protective factors that promote positive developmental outcomes. Firmly research based, it bridges the gap between ecological theory and strengths-based practice and provides a foundation for developing case-specific interventions. Building on the concepts and models articulated so expertly in the best-selling first edition, the authors of Risk and Resilience, 2nd Edition introduce a framework and interdisciplinary language for understanding and conceptualizing social and health problems of children and their families.

Simon, J., Murphy, J., Smith, S. (2005). Understanding and fostering family resilience. The Family Journal, 13(4), 427-436.
Family resilience can be defined as the ability of a family to respond positively to an adverse situation and emerge from the situation feeling strengthened, more resourceful, and more confident than its prior state. This article presents a succinct literature review on family resilience, including its dimensions, working models, and the individual and family characteristics that contribute to family resilience.

Rutter, M. (2006). Implications of resilience concepts for scientific understanding. Annals New York Academy of Science, 1094, 1-12.
Resilience is an interactive concept that refers to a relative resistance to environmental risk experiences, or the overcoming of stress or adversity. As such, it differs from both social competence positive mental health. Resilience differs from traditional concepts of risk and protection in its focus on individual variations in response to comparable experiences. Accordingly, the research focus needs to be on those individual differences and the causal processes that they reflect, rather than on resilience as a general quality. Because resilience in relation to childhood adversities may stem from positive adult experiences, a life-span trajectory approach is needed. Also, because of the crucial importance of gene–environment interactions in relation to resilience, a wide range of research strategies spanning psychosocial and biological methods is needed.

Walsh, F. (2003). Family Resilience: A framework for clinical practice. Family Process, 42(1), 1-18.
This article presents an overview of a family resilience framework developed for clinical practice, and describes its advantages. Drawing together findings from studies of individual resilience and research on effective family functioning, key processes in family resilience are outlined in three domains: family belief systems, organizational patterns, and communication/problem-solving. Clinical practice applications are described briefly to suggest the broad utility of this conceptual framework for intervention and prevention efforts to strengthen families facing serious life challenges.

Walsh, F. (Ed.). (2012). Normal family processes: Growing diversity and complexity. (4th Ed.) New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Widely adopted, this valued course text and practitioner guide has expanded the understanding of family normality and healthy functioning in our increasingly diverse society. The editor and contributors are at the forefront of research and clinical training. They describe the challenges facing contemporary families and ways in which clinicians can promote resilience. With consideration of sociocultural and developmental influences, chapters identify key family processes that nurture and sustain strong bonds in couples; dual-earner, divorced, single-parent, remarried, adoptive, and kinship care families; gay and lesbian families; culturally diverse families; and those coping with adversity, such as trauma, poverty, and chronic illness.