The components of resilience-perceptions of an Australian rural community

Elizabeth Buikstra, Helen Ross, Christine A. King, Peter G. Baker, Desley Hegney, Kathryn McLachlan, Cath Rogers-Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Citations (Scopus)


Resilience, of individuals, is a well-established concept in the psychology/ mental health literatures, but has been little explored in relation to communities. Related theory in the community development and social impact assessment literature provides insight into qualities and assets of communities that enable them to develop effectively or to adapt to major changes. This article reports the components of community and individual resilience identified through a participatory action research study within a rural Australian community. These are social networks and support; positive outlook; learning; early experiences; environment and lifestyle; infrastructure and support services; sense of purpose; diverse and innovative economy; embracing differences; beliefs; and leadership. These components entail interactions between individuals, the community, infrastructure, the environment and the economy in the process of building resilience. The findings extend from previous research by recognizing environmental and economic factors, infrastructure and support services, as enhancing resilience, and expand the limited evidence base for those wishing to promote resilience at the community scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)975-991
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


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