Resilience and Risk, Mental Health and Well-Being: How Do They Relate?

Poster A24, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Susann Ochsenbein1, Stefanie J. Schmidt1, Benno G. Schimmelmann1, Frauke Schultze-Lutter1; 1University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Bern

Resilience and well-being have become commonplace and increasingly used terms in a wide range of scientific as well as mental health political contexts. Yet, the respective literature suggests that each term, ‘resilience’ as well as ‘well-being’, have so far defied universal definition and common understanding of their respective measurement. Furthermore, there is no agreement on but much confusion about the relationship of the two constructs: while some use well-being as a proxy measure of resilience, others treat one concept as a component of the other or see interchangeably one as the prerequisite of the other. As we will show, part of the confusion around these two concepts is the overlap in their components, in particular with regard to resilience and psychological well-being, and the lack of research on these concepts both by themselves, in relation to each other and in relation to other concepts like mental health, risk or protective (or promotive) factors. Thus, our critical and comparative inspection of both concepts highlights the need for more conceptual cross-sectional as well as longitudinal studies (a) to uncover the composition of these constructs and to reach agreement on their definition and measurement, (b) to detect their potential neurobiological underpinnings, (c) to reveal how they relate to each other, and (d) to determine the potential role of developmental and cultural peculiarities. For the time being, however, the use of the terms resilience and well-being should always be accompanied by a brief explanation of their respective meanings and theoretical framework.

Topic Area: Diagnosis and Phenomenology

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