Resilience in People with Physical Disabilities

Ashley Craig

in The Oxford Handbook of Rehabilitation Psychology

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199733989
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Resilience in People with Physical Disabilities

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  • Clinical Psychology
  • Health Psychology



Historically, research into the nature of resilience was applied mostly to children and adolescents exposed to problems such as ill-treatment in the family or drug abuse, and this resilience research employed a risk and protective factors model. Protective factors included attributes that minimize risk or act as a buffer by cushioning the person against negative outcomes, and included environmental, interpersonal, and individual personal factors. Being resilient, therefore, described a process that involved someone who had assets and resources that enabled him or her to self-protect and thus overcome the adverse affects of risk exposure. It is concerning that the model for research most often used when investigating outcomes for physical disabilities has been a risk-deficit model that focuses more upon factors, such as negative mood states, that may prevent a person from adjusting adaptively to his or her disability. Few studies have concentrated on both risk and resilience factors. In this chapter, resilience is defined as a process involving a person maintaining stable psychological, social, and physical functioning when adjusting to the effects of a physical disability and subsequent impairment. Research that has investigated protective factors in physical disability will be explored and implications for the management of these conditions discussed.

Keywords: Disability; resilience; risk; rehabilitation; protective factors; self-efficacy

Article.  12487 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology ; Health Psychology

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