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How does social support enhance resilience in the trauma-exposed individual?

Lauren M. Sippel, National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Clinical Neurosciences Division, VA Connecticut Healthcare System; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine
Robert H. Pietrzak, National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Clinical Neurosciences Division, VA Connecticut Healthcare System; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine; Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York
Dennis S, Charney, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York
Linda C. Mayes, Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine
Steven M. Southwick, National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Clinical Neurosciences Division, VA Connecticut Healthcare System; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine; Yale Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine; Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-07832-200410

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Abstract

Although most resilience science has focused on individual-level psychosocial factors that promote individual resilience, theorists and researchers have begun to examine neurobiological and systems-level factors implicated in resilience. In this commentary we argue that the development of effective interventions to enhance resilience necessitates understanding that resilience in the individual is dependent on multiple layers of society. Further, we suggest that there is a bidirectional relationship between systems-level resilience (i.e., resilience of romantic partners, family members, neighborhoods, and larger social contexts) and individual resilience. We suggest directions for future research and interventions, with the goal of stimulating research efforts that address these questions among trauma-exposed individuals.

Key words

individual resilience; neurobiology; social support; systems resilience

Copyright © 2015 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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