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Resilience Factors and Prosocial Behavior

Resilience and prosocial behaviors are two major important aspects of a successful and healthy development of both children and adolescents. According to research, children who are both resilient and have prosocial behaviors are less likely to get in trouble with their parents, the laws when they become teenagers or adults and are more easily to cope with adversity or rejection (Springer, J. J., 1997).

Resilience and Prosocial Behaviors:

Resilience by definition is the ability to withstand and rebound from crises or permanent challenges (Argosy University, 2014). In other words, resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, and tragedy, and threats, etc. Resilience is the ability to “bounce back” from difficult experiences or stressful situations. While prosocial behaviors, on the other hand, are those intended to help other people. Prosocial behavior is characterized by a concern about the rights, feelings, and welfare of other people. Behaviors that can be described as prosocial include feeling empathy and concern for others and behaving in ways to help or benefit other people (Wadsworth, M. E., & Santiago, C. D., 2008).

Key factors in Promoting Resiliency and Prosocial Behavior in children: A child’s ability to develop a sense of connectedness to someone like an adult in his/her early years. According to research, this single attachment from a child to a person who does not have to be the child’s parent can make a world of difference in how the child deals with other people and situation. Another factor in building resiliency in a child is being responsible for someone else: this means, children who are resilient are inclined toward helping others (Gonzalez Mena, 2012). Another key actor in building resiliency is the child’s ability to see the positive in each situation he/she is experiencing. Other factors that need to be considered in promoting resiliency and prosocial behavior in both children and adolescents are: teaching them how to make friends with others and the ability to build their own social support system that can help them in both good and bad time, teach children the importance of helping others; parents who teach or give their children the opportunity to help others help them feel valuable, important, and effective. Self-care is also important in building resiliency in children. According to experts, teaching self-care involves teaching them to be role models for others for living a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle due to the fact that when someone’s body is healthy and well-rested he/she has more internal resources to persevere in difficult situations (Argosy University, 2014). Nurture positive self-view needs to be considered in promoting resiliency as well. This involves helping the child to preview a time when he/she managed a situation positively and successfully.

By doing so, he/she will have more confidence in himself/herself in making a good decision and solving problems effectively. Keep things into perspective, encourage self-discovery, and accept changes are also very important in promoting resiliency and encouraging prosocial behavior as well. All these factors listed above are very important in helping children to become resilient and to build prosocial behavior because, first, it helps them develop the ability to successfully cope with adversity, trauma, threats, and stress. They also help children to become kind, concerned and compassionate. Some of the obstacles that need to be kept in mind when building resiliency and prosocial behavior in both children and adolescent are cultural differences; a person’s culture might have an impact on how he or she communicates feelings and deals with adversity, self-esteem issue, self-confidence, the child’s environment, and the child’s interpretation of the situation. The difference between a great person and a normal person is that; when facing adversity a normal person does what's safe and expected of him/her, which is look for safe haven. A great person does the opposite, he/she runs towards adversity. Every great man and woman have one thing in common. The ability to turn something negative into something positive.


Argosy University (2014). Social and Behavioral Socialization Outcomes. Data Retrieved on 06/21/2014, from:

Springer, J. J. (1997). Family interventions and adolescent resiliency: The Southwest Texas State High-Risk Youth Program. Journal of Community Psychology, 25(5), 435–452. (EBSCO AN: 11771647)

Wadsworth, M. E., & Santiago, C. D. (2008). Risk and resiliency processes in ethnically diverse families in poverty. Journal of Family Psychology, 22(3), 399–410. doi:10.1037/0893-3200.22.3.399 (ProQuest Document ID: 614487944)

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