Description: Up to this point in our efforts to socially manage our responses to Covid-19 there has, understandably, been a lot of focus on the health systems responses and, to a lesser but also important degree, on the stresses and anxieties associated with sheltering in place. There are signs that we will soon see a lot of discussion of next steps; looking at the order and timelines by which we will start to emerge from isolation. We will need to think hard about how that process will play out from the general societal perspective and down through to the community, neighbourhood, family and individual levels and, in so doing, some consideration of how we will manage our stress and anxiety over time will be important. Our immediate or knee-jerk ways of conceptualizing stress as the “stuff” that hits us from the world around us and anxiety as the feelings in us that such stress-assaults generate, is useful in the short term for defined and passing stressful events. Covid-19 is not that sort of event and our current levels of social isolation are equally unprecedented in term so our psychological processes for understanding and coping. What can help us do the sort of thinking and planning and self-are we will need to do in order to emerge from isolation successfully? Well, I think a relationally defined version of the concept of resilience is a lot of what we need. Reflect for a few moments of what you think we need as we prepare to move forward out of isolation and then listen to (or read the transcript) of an interview with Ann Masten a recognized leader in developmental thinking and research on resilience as a relational concept.
Source: Speaking of Psychology: The Role of Resilience in the Face of COVID-19 with Ann Masten, PhD, American Psychological Association
Date: April 15, 2020
It is useful to reflect a little bit on the nature of the developmentally defining moment that is our experiences with Covid-19. It is being experienced differently depending upon our location in our lifespan developmental trajectories. It is challenging for everyone but it is potentially more challenging for children who are rapidly developing ways of knowing, feeling, and being that they will use as the foundations of for how they will move forward out into their worlds. A relational understanding of resilience along with the notion of individual resilience bank accounts can help us figure out how to help our children, and ourselves, move forward positively as we emerge from isolation.
Questions for Discussion:
- How might we understand reliance relationally?
- What role do (or can) parents play in the development of capacity for resilience in their children?
- What sorts of tings might we do if we want to monitor or resilience (our resilience bank account) rather than just tabulate our stresses and anxieties?
References (Read Further):
Masten, A. S. (2001). Ordinary magic: Resilience processes in development. American psychologist, 56(3), 227. Link
Masten, A. S., & Gewirtz, A. H. (2006). Resilience in development: The importance of early childhood. Link
Masten, A. S., & Wright, M. O. D. (2010). Resilience over the lifespan: Developmental perspectives on resistance, recovery, and transformation. Link
Masten, A. S. (2014). Global perspectives on resilience in children and youth. Child development, 85(1), 6-20. Link