Strengths, Narrative, and Resilience: Restorying Resilience Research
Format of Original
American Psychological Association
Psychology of Violence
Objective: To envision a path toward a more strengths-based approach to violence research, prevention, and intervention—a path that focuses on thriving and resilience. Key Points: Both the content and the process of research need to change if we are to transform our efforts to understand and overcome adversity. Greater focus on strengths and the achievement of well-being despite adversity is 1 important avenue; focusing on the narrative and the power of story is another important path. However, merely shifting the focus of traditional research and scholarly efforts is not enough. At another level of analysis, the field needs communication across the fragmentary subdisciplines of social science (“silo busting,” as we informally call it). We must also do more to encourage experimentation and innovation with regard to research question and design, community–practitioner–researcher partnership, and approaches to dissemination. Implications: Existing challenges in innovation and experimentation call for trying new approaches. Specific suggestions for adapting conference formats are provided. The commentaries in this special section offer feasible actions that could improve violence research, including incorporating measures of well-being in addition to symptoms as outcome measures; involving a wider variety of stakeholders in research design and dissemination; taking advantage of new insights from positive psychology and narrative research; and incorporating aspects of community and culture into research, assessment, prevention and intervention.