A Simultaneous Concept Analysis of Resilience, Coping, Posttraumatic Growth, and Thriving

May 28, 2022
Nursing Forum
"Few studies exist that assess the relationships between resilience, coping, PTG, or thriving...This particular study contributes to existing literature of resilience, coping, PTG, and thriving by simultaneously clarifying conceptualizations of the four concepts."
Dr. Jessamyn Bowling et al.


Background: Research has shifted in recent decades from a focus on negative effects of adversity, trauma, and stress to protective factors and positive outcomes. Resilience and related concepts (coping, posttraumatic growth, thriving, and preparedness) reflect this shift. However, the current state of literature reflects conceptualization challenges in relation to these terms, which blur their differentiation.

Aim: This study aimed to examine how resilience and related terms are conceptualized in health-related literature.

Design: The authors used a simultaneous concept analysis to independently explore and further inform the conceptual development of resilience, coping, PTG, and thriving.

Data source: They searched PsycINFO and PubMed for literature between 1999 and 2019 for each of our concepts.

Review methods: For each of these concepts, they propose a definition, antecedents, attributes, an example, consequences, and related concepts. Next, they concurrently examined the concepts, compared and contrasted findings across them, and clarified similarities as well as differences between them.

Results: Many concepts’ definitions lack specificity, clear boundaries, and consistency across the literature. Resilience literature fails to differentiate between attributes and antecedents of resilience. There was overlap regarding conceptualization between resilience and coping, and resilience and thriving.

Conclusions: Several concepts’ definitional literature diverged between a return to baseline functioning and surpassing baseline.
Keywords: coping; posttraumatic growth; resilience; simultaneous concept analysis.

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