Adult Resilience Scale

Assessment of individuals' resilience skills and capabilities.

Author(s) : Denis Flores

Publisher : ACER, 2021

SKU : PG_ADULTRESILIENCESCALE

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Online Adult Resilience Scale eManual (PDF)

SKU : E1200

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Online Adult Resilience Scale Credit

SKU : E1201

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The Adult Resilience Scale assesses dimensions of resilience in individuals, and provides a framework for developing resilience skills and capabilities.

"Resilience is the ability to adapt to the changing environment and bounce back from adversity and personal setbacks."

Many people have encountered an adverse experience at some point in their lives. Yet, some bounce back quickly while others endure the difficulties of adjusting for a longer period. A distinguishing factor between these people is their level of resilience.

Resilience has been widely defined as the ability to adapt to the changing environment and to recover from adversity and personal setbacks. Resilience has also been expressed as a competency or skill, embodying the personal qualities of individuals who thrive in difficult circumstances. Research suggests that resilient people adapt more successfully in response to major life events and traumatic experiences

The Adult Resilience Scale has been developed to provide an understanding of the concept of resilience, and measures the five dimensions of:

  1. Threat Perception
  2. Adjustment
  3. Decision Making
  4. Coping
  5. Recovery.

The Adult Resilience Scale suite includes a Manual as well as a Coach and Client Report.

The Adult Resilience Scale was developed to provide a tool to measure resilience in individuals.

Based on extensive research from military and civilian operational occupations, the Adult Resilience Scale utilised a large international database. There was significant item analysis and review, resulting in a 75-item scale measuring the Five Dimensions of Threat Perception, Adjustment, Decision Making, Coping and Recovery. The Adult Resilience Scale assesses these dimensions in individuals, and provides a framework for developing resilience skills and capabilities.

The Adult Resilience Scale pays particular attention to Threat Perception, as it provides a context for the candidate’s overall behaviour and emotions. This is because people can be resilient in some situations but not in others, making the Adult Resilience Scale particularly robust. The Five Dimensions of Resilience measured by the Adult Resilience Scale are as follows:

  • Threat Perception – perceptive ability or situational awareness, awareness of a potential or actual problem or threat and ability to formulate a plan to continue. (Being aware of the situation and noticing problems when they arise.)
  • Adjustment – ability to adjust when unexpected events cause disruption, assessment of recovery options, flexibility and openness to new circumstances. (Being flexible and open to new circumstances, recognising when a new approach to a problem is needed.)
  • Decision Making – ability to make clear decisions during stressful situations. (Making good decisions under pressure, assessing the available options and choosing the one that is most conducive to recovering from the problem.)
  • Coping – capacity to deal with difficult issues as they arise and to put stressful events into perspective. Operation of one’s recovery coping mechanisms and accepting that a change in approach or strategy is required, so that stressful events are less likely to have a negative impact. (Enacting the chosen option, and applying the chosen actions to the problem at hand.)
  • Recovery – speed of return to normal activity after challenging situations. (Regaining strength and resilience after the problem is dealt with.) The Five Dimensions all contribute to Total Resilience, which is defined as the ability to thrive in difficult circumstances.

As a soldier, military psychologist and firefighter for over twenty years, resilience played a major role in the work of the author, Denis Flores. Formal research and alignment with the International Military Psychology Symposium (IAMPS) led to an invitation to be a keynote speaker at the 44th IAMPS in St Petersburg, Russia in 2008, on Testing for Situational Awareness in the Military, and in the following year to a presentation to the 45th Symposium in Latvia, entitled, Resilience, Enhancing Military Performance and Safety.

The original concept of a resilience assessment was developed and presented at the latter conference in Latvia. Five Dimensions were proposed: Threat Perception, Decision Making, Adjustment, Coping and Recovery. The Adult Resilience Scale pays particular attention to Threat Perception, as it provides a context for the candidate’s overall behaviour and emotions. This is because people can be resilient in some situations but not in others, making the Adult Resilience Scale particularly robust.

The original understanding of resilience comes from physics and is defined as, ‘The quantity of work given back by a body that is compressed to a certain limit and then allowed freely to recover its former size or shape’ (Funk & Wagnells, 1958). In human terms, it can be described as the act or power of springing back to a former position or state. For the purposes of the Adult Resilience Scale, resilience is defined as, ‘The ability to adapt to the changing environment and bounce back from adversity and personal setbacks’. In clinical and psychiatric contexts, resilience has also been recognised as a measure of stress coping ability. The importance of resilience as a construct goes back many years but came to greater relevance in organisational psychology through the military, with armies throughout the world developing resilience training. Resilience has also been expressed as competence because it embodies the personal qualities that enable individuals to thrive in difficult circumstances. It is a different construct to personality, but our research suggests that resilient people adapt more successfully in response to major life events and traumatic experiences. 

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Denis Flores has a long and distinguished history in the field of psychology in Australia and Malta, with active involvement in research, practice and presenting as a keynote speaker at numerous conferences.

In 1993, after 20 years as a military psychologist and subsequent work for two of the big six consulting firms, Denis Flores founded his own firm, Career Focus Pty Ltd, offering services in psychological assessment, organisation development, executive coaching and career transition.

With a keen interest in the next generation of psychologists, Denis also established the Institute of Psychological Practice (IPP) in 2003, providing curriculum and supervision for psychology graduate interns. IPP provided professional development leading to a Diploma of Psychological Practice and high level practice learning for already registered psychologists. Denis was Principal and Chair of the Board of Governors of the institute from 2004 to 2007.

Denis was elected Fellow, Australian Psychological Society in 2005, was Chair of the College of Organisational Psychologists from 2003 to 2006 and became the founding Managing Editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Organisational Psychology in 2007. Denis was also appointed as Adjunct Clinical Associate in the Centre for Neuropsychology at Swinburne University of Technology, 2003–2006, and Honorary Fellow, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, Deakin University, 2005–2010.

Following the sale of Career Focus in 2013, Denis returned to Europe in 2015 to resume teaching Organisational Psychology at the University of Malta. In 2020 he was appointed to the Council of the Malta Chamber of Psychologists, and since then Denis has continued to focus his ongoing research on resilience.

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