The Family Resiliency Index: Examining a New Measure of Family Resiliency and its Relationship with Child Outcomes After Stress
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Family resiliency is the extent to which the relationships between family members has adaptive characteristics that facilitate an individual’s, dyad’s, or system’s ability to cope with stressful life situations. Current theory suggests that family resiliency may have multiple components, yet, it is not clear which components are most important; sub-scales on instruments of resiliency are often highly correlated, thereby failing to demonstrate meaningful distinctions between the presumed components. This project is the first step in testing a new measure of family resilience, the Family Resiliency Index. Participants included 135 college students who completed an online questionnaire in which they recalled a stressful event from their childhood, completed retrospective ratings of both the new and previously established measures of family resiliency, a measure of parenting style, and outcome measures for well- being and externalizing behavior problems around the time of the stressful event. Participants were prompted to recall a specific memory of a positive or negative behavior and write a short description before rating the behavior’s frequency on a 6- point scale. The new measure’s positive and negative scales were not significantly correlated with one another, supporting its divergent validity. Both scales were strongly associated with other measures of family resiliency. Furthermore, the new measure’s relationships with outcome variables were still significant after controlling for the effects of parenting style.