What makes some families come through adversity stronger and others come through completely shattered? 

The Family Resilience Framework is a fascinating concept.   I have often wondered about an individual’s resilience, where does it come from, what other qualities are involved in resilience?  This is helpful in promoting strategies for families going through life’s challenges (Edelman, Mandle, & Kudzma, 2014, p. 181).

What makes some families come through adversity stronger and others come through completely shattered?  Studies showed that most abused children do not grow up to be abusive.  At first researchers believed the resilience was innate, later they moved toward the recognition of nature vs nurture, yet negating the influence of family and focusing on the individual.  As research continued on this path, a wide range of adversity was studied such as growing up in impoverished circumstances, chronic medical conditions, catastrophic life experiences, trauma, and loss.  Studies emerged of resilient individuals showing the importance of relationships of kin, intimate partners, and mentors who supported their efforts, believed in them, and encouraged them to make the most out of their lives (Walsh, 2003, p. 2).  Walsh’s findings showed that despite childhood challenges, everyone has potential to develop resilience.

It mentioned, with family structure being so complex, it is required innovative strategies for success (Edelman et al., 2014, p. 181).  I know this first hand, as an empty nester, turned mother with now young children, we are living in a situation that is not unique in today’s world.  Grandparents raising grandchildren, I would appreciate sitting with a counselor or nurse and using the Family Resilience Framework to restructure our thinking and provide valuable insight.  “What matters most in dealing with adversity are effective family processes, involving the quality of caring committed relationships” (Walsh, 2003, p. 5).



Edelman, C., Mandle, C., & Kudzma, E. (2014). Health promotion throughout the life span (8th  ed.).  Retrieved from https://pageburstls.elsevier.com/#/books/9780323056625/cfi/6[s2]/6

Walsh, F. (2003). Family resilience:  a framework for clinical practice. Family Process, 42. Retrieved from http://sw2.haifa.ac.il/images/stories/Field_studies/family_4.pdf


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