Psychosocial Measures of Resilience

Resilience is a multi-dimensional concept that includes physiological, physical, emotional, and psychological axes, among others. The Health and Mobility Measures Core (HMC) contributes to research in measurement aimed at characterizing the emerging construct of resilience as it pertains to physical health in aging and across the lifespan. Some frequent measures of psychosocial resilience listed below have been compiled by HMC researchers as an introductory resource for investigators. More information about particular areas of inquiry is available in consultation with Pepper researchers.

This section concludes with a brief bibliography of articles devoted to a comparative review of measures of psychosocial resilience.

Curated List of Measurement Scales

The Brief Resilience Scale (BRS) is derived from a self-reported questionnaire aimed at measuring a person’s ability “to bounce back” from stress and adversity. The scale hasn’t been widely used in clinical settings; however, it may provide some key insights for individuals facing health-related stressors. Overall, a highly valid and reliable measure of resilience. The BRS does not have license fees.

Source article
Smith BW, Dalen J, Wiggins K, Tooley E, Christopher P, Bernard J. The brief resilience scale: assessing the ability to bounce back. Int J Behav Med. 2008;15(3):194-200. [PubMed] [DOI link to Journal]



Validity and Reliability In a sample of adults
Rodríguez-Rey R, Alonso-Tapia J, Hernansaiz-Garrido H. Reliability and validity of the Brief Resilience Scale (BRS) Spanish Version. Psychol Assess. 2016 May;28(5):e101-e110. [PubMed] [DOI link to Journal]

A self-reported measure of resilience that has been used in a large number of studies and in a wide range of populations. The CD-RISC © receives high ratings in quality assessments of its psychometric properties, including various axes of validity, internal consistency and reliability.

Dimensions: 1) Personal Competence; 2) Acceptance of Change and Secure Relationships; 3) Trust/Tolerance/Strengthening Effects of Stress; 4) Control; 5) Spiritual Influences

The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale © is also available in 10- and 2-item versions. The CD-RISC-2, CD-RISC-10 and CD-RISC-25 are the only versions authorized for use. Other versions in which the scale is described as “modified”, “expanded”, “improved” etc. should not be used or disseminated.

Visit the official CD-RISC website for license information.

Source article (CD-RISC 25-item version):
Connor KM, Davidson JR. Development of a new resilience scale: the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). Depress Anxiety. 2003;18(2):76-82. [Open access]
NOTE: Scale items taken directly from this article are an incomplete presentation of the CD-RISC and should not be used.

CD-RISC 10-item version
Campbell-Sills L, Stein MB. Psychometric analysis and refinement of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC): Validation of a 10-item measure of resilience. J Trauma Stress. 2007 Dec;20(6):1019-28. [PubMed] [DOI link to Journal]

CD-RISC 2-item version
Vaishnavi S, Connor K, Davidson JR. An abbreviated version of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC), the CD-RISC2: psychometric properties and applications in psychopharmacological trials. Psychiatry Res. 2007 Aug 30;152(2-3):293-7. [PMC free article]

Internal Consistency, Convergent Validity and Divergent Validity in a Community sample ages 55+
Goins RT, Gregg JJ, Fiske A. Psychometric Properties of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale With Older American Indians: The Native Elder Care Study. Res Aging. 2013 Mar;35(2):123-143. [PMC free article]

Construct Validity, Discriminant Validity and Predictive Validity in a Community sample ages 45-75
Velickovic K, Rahm Hallberg I, Axelsson U, Borrebaeck CAK, Rydén L, Johnsson P, Månsson J. Psychometric properties of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) in a non-clinical population in Sweden. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2020 May 12;18(1):132. [PMC free article]

Gonçalves L, Sala R, Navarro JB. Resilience and occupational health of health care workers: a moderator analysis of organizational resilience and sociodemographic attributes. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2022 Jan;95(1):223-232. [PMC free article]

A tool developed for measuring resilience in non-psychiatric settings and designed to capture adaptability to changes in one’s life circumstances. Scores on the ER-89 positively correlate with an individual’s ability to bounce back from adversity, failure, and/or disappointment.

NOTE on licensing: The remaining living co-author of the ER-89, Adam Kremen, PhD, wrote that he is not aware of copyright or license requirements for the scale, which was developed while both authors were employed by the University of California at Berkeley.

Source article: Block J, Kremen AM. IQ and ego-resiliency: conceptual and empirical connections and separateness. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1996 Feb;70(2):349-61. [PubMed] [DOI link to Journal]

ER 89 and Personality Characteristics
Letzring TD, Block J, Funder DC. Ego-control and ego-resiliency: Generalization of self-report scales based on personality descriptions from acquaintances, clinicians, and the self. J Res Pers. 2005; 39: 395–422. [DOI link to Journal]

The ERS scale was developed based on a conceptual framework that includes three major capabilities (anticipation, flexibility, and bouncing back) and three types of traumatic/adverse events (physical, emotional, and social). Originally tested among a sample of adults ages 18–45 from one city in China. Chinese and English versions are available. The ERS does not have license fees.

Dimensions: Anticipation, flexibility, and bouncing back to physical, emotional, and social events

Source article: Chen X, Wang Y, Yan Y. The Essential Resilience Scale: Instrument Development and Prediction of Perceived Health and Behaviour. Stress Health. 2016 Dec;32(5):533-542. [PubMed] [DOI link to Journal]

Lau C, Chiesi F, Saklofske DH, Yan G, Li C. How essential is the essential resilience scale? Differential item functioning of Chinese and English versions and criterion validity. Pers Individ Dif. 2020 Mar 1;109666. [DOI link to Journal]

Developed as a measure to assess physical resilience and the association of resilience to recovery and coping with physical challenges related to aging (with and without illness). The PRS was designed to include characteristics known to be associated with successful aging—including social support, adaptability, humor, and mobilizing one’s strengths. Reliability is generally good; and validity is excellent compared with other general resilience measures. The original scale contained 15 items; the current version has 17 items.

The PRS does not have license fees.

Source article: Resnick B, Galik E, Dorsey S, Scheve A, Gutkin S. Reliability and validity testing of the physical resilience measure. Gerontologist. 2011 Oct;51(5):643-52. [Open Access]

One of the oldest and established scales measuring psychosocial resilience. Developed in a sample of older adults (ages 53 to 95 years), the scale includes 25 items and responses positively correlate with physical health, morale, and life satisfaction; and negatively correlate with depressive symptoms. “The Resilience Scale” ™ © Gail M Wagnild, PhD & Heather M Young, PhD.

Visit the official Resilience Center website for license information.

NOTE: 11- and 5-item scale versions are not authorized and do not support the fidelity of the original resilience instruments.

Dimensions: 1) Meaningful Life (or Purpose); 2) Perseverance; 3) Self-Reliance; 4) Equanimity; 5) Existential Aloneness

Source article: Concurrent Validity, Construct Validity In a random sample of community-dwelling older adults
Wagnild G & Young H. Development and psychometric evaluation of the Resilience Scale. Journal of nursing measurement. Winter 1993;1(2):165-78. [PDF Download link]

Reliability and Validity In a sample of women ages 80+
Resnick BA, Inguito PL. The Resilience Scale: psychometric properties and clinical applicability in older adults. Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 2011 Feb;25(1):11-20. [PubMed] [DOI link to Journal]

RS 14-item version
Wagnild, G. M. (2010). The Resilience Scale user’s guide for the US English version of the Resilience Scale and the 14-Item Resilience Scale (RS-14). Worden, MT: The Resilience Center. [Reference link]

The RSA is a widely used self-reported tool recommended for use in clinical and psychiatric populations. The scale includes 33 items and is based on 5 intra- and inter-personal dimensions which measure personal protective factors that promote adaptation to adversity. The RSA is particularly valuable for assessing factors that buffer psychological distress.

Dimensions: 1) Personal Competence; 2) Social Competence; 3) Social Support; 4) Family Coherence; 5) Personal Structure
A sample item from each scale section follows below. Respondents select a choice on a 5-point range between each descriptor.

© Oddgeir Friborg, PhD & Odin Hjemdal, PhD
Contact the authors for license information.

Source article: Friborg O, Hjemdal O, Rosenvinge JH, Martinussen M. A new rating scale for adult resilience: what are the central protective resources behind healthy adjustment? Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2003;12(2):65-76. [PMC free article]

Domain Network Structures of the RSA: Briganti G, Linkowski P. Item and domain network structures of the Resilience Scale for Adults in 675 university students. Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci. 2019 Apr 22;29:e33. [PMC free article]

Friborg O, Martinussen M, Rosenvinge JH. Likert-based vs. semantic differential-based scorings of positive psychological constructs: A psychometric comparison of two versions of a scale measuring resilience. Pers Individ Dif. 2006;40(5):873-84. [DOI link to Journal]

Friborg O, Hjemdal O, Martinussen M, Rosenvinge JH. Empirical support for resilience as more than the counterpart and absence of vulnerability and symptoms of mental disorder. J Individ Dif. Aug 2009;30(3). [DOI link to Journal]

Hjemdal O, Vogel PA, Solem S, Hagen K, Stiles TC. The relationship between resilience and levels of anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in adolescents. Clin Psychol Psychother. 2011 Jul-Aug;18(4):314-21. [DOI link to Journal]

The SPF was designed as a comprehensive measurement of factors related to resilience. Tested and validated in a sample of college students (n~1,000), the scale largely focuses on factors that buffer distress in individuals who experienced stress, violence, and/or trauma – rather than measuring resilience directly.    © Springer Publishing Company, LLC & the Journal of Violence and Victims

NOTE: The SPF forms can be shared for research or educational purposes, in accordance with the copyright, as long as no fees are charged for access to these measures.

Dimensions: 1) Social skills; 2) Social support; 3) Goal efficacy; 4) Planning prioritizing behavior

Source article: Ponce-Garcia E, Madewell AN, Kennison SM. The Development of the Scale of Protective Factors: Resilience in a Violent Trauma Sample. Violence Vict. 2015;30(5):735-55. [PubMed] [DOI link to Journal]

Madewell AN & Ponce-Garcia E. Assessing resilience in emerging adulthood: The Resilience Scale (RS), Connor–Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC), and Scale of Protective Factors (SPF). Pers Individ Dif. July 2016;97:249-55. [DOI link to Journal]

Madewell AN, Ponce-Garcia E, Martin SE. Data replicating the factor structure and reliability of commonly used measures of resilience: The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, Resilience Scale, and Scale of Protective Factors. Data Brief. 2016 Aug 6;8:1387-90. [PMC free article]

Madewell AN, Ponce-Garcia E, Bruno-Casteñeda B et al. An abbreviation of the scale of protective factors: Resilience in a medical trauma sample. Curr Psychol. 2021;40:2190–200. [DOI link to Journal]

Reviews of measures & Additional resources

Salisu I, Hashim N. A Critical Review of Scales Used in Resilience Research. IOSR Journal of Business and Management. 2017 Apr;19(4):23-33. [PDF Download link]

Cosco TD, Kaushal A, Richards M, Kuh D, Stafford M. Resilience measurement in later life: a systematic review and psychometric analysis. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2016 Jan 28;14:16. [PMC free article]

Windle G, Bennett KM, Noyes J. A methodological review of resilience measurement scales. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2011 Feb 4;9:8. [PMC free article]

Ahern NR, Kiehl EM, Sole ML, Byers J. A review of instruments measuring resilience. Issues Compr Pediatr Nurs. 2006 Apr-Jun;29(2):103-25. [PubMed] [DOI link to Journal]

Hawkley L, Wroblewski K, Cagney KA, Waite LJ. Resilience and Social Support-Giving Scales: Conceptual and Empirical Validation. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2021 Dec 17;76(Supplement_3):S238-S250. [Open Access]

Li YT, Ow YSY. Development of resilience scale for older adults. Aging Ment Health. 2022 Jan;26(1):159-168. [Open Access]


A more comprehensive repository of various Resilience Measures is available at The Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health. The Center also maintains a list of Academic Review Papers of Resilience Measures.