Resilience as prevention against stress


What is resilience? 

Resilience is the ability of people in crisis situations to draw on personal and socially mediated resources and thus cope with stressful situations. In short, resilience is a process or phenomenon that shows a positive adaptation of the individual, despite existing risk factors. 

Resilience = Resilience in life crises

Classification of resilience factors 

Factors at the individual level: personality traits, competencies, physiological factors
Factors at the social level: social relationships with family and peers
Factors at the societal level: influences, through societal norms and institutions, availability of societal resources

Development process of resilience

Perception of the situation

- Evaluation of stressors as threatening

- Successful coping with stressors in the past

-> Available resources

- Genetic predisposition

- Protective and risk factors (e.g., optimism, parental parenting style)

- Development of Coping Self-Efficacy

-> Successful coping with stressful situations

How can resilience help in stressful situations? 

In order to better cope with stressful situations, one can promote and strengthen one's resilience. In other words, you can use resilience as a preventive measure against stress. The American Psychological Association has developed a plan for this:

Build networks and encourage mutual support
Accept change as part of life
Do not see crises as insurmountable problems.
Pursue your own goals with determination
Be proactive and make clear decisions
Use opportunities for self-reflection
Promote positive self-perception
Classify problems correctly
Remain optimistic
Take care of yourself


UHR Results 2021

- On average, students report rather high resilience (M=4.4). 

- The highest resilience scores are reported in the departments of chemistry as well as civil engineering, and the lowest in the department of social sciences.