Resilience and Disaster Research: Definitions, Measurement, and Future Directions


  • Helena Bakić University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Zagreb


resilience, disasters, positive adaptation, resources


Disasters pose a significant threat to the long-term well-being of individuals, communities and societies. Therefore, studying resilience, defined as the process of maintaining and recovering psychological well-being after adversity, is crucial for disaster preparedness and mitigation. The aims of this paper are to summarize the historical context of resilience research, present the key concepts, discuss current measurement approaches and propose future research directions. Key determinants of resilience - risk, positive adaptation and resources - are discussed with the focus on studies of adults affected by disasters. This narrative review demonstrates that research up to date has focused mostly on finding the individual characteristics that predict the absence of psychopathology or mental health disorder symptoms, while other types of resources or dynamic relations between key aspects of resilience have been neglected. Future studies should aim to include multiple measurement points, high- and low-risk groups, long-term follow-up and broader perspectives on both psychological well-being and potential resources.