The science behind fostering resilience

Tornadoes tear through southern Indiana
Melody Zollman (L) gets a hug from her sister Michelle Browning as they stand in what was Zollman's home after it was destroyed by a tornado March 3, 2012 in Henryville, Indiana. Dozens of people were killed as severe weather and tornadoes ripped through the South and Midwest.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Throughout history, we've been drawn to tales of human resilience and overcoming adversity. How can we foster resilience, and how do science and environmental factors work together to build resilience?

Ann Masten, child psychology at the University of Minnesota, will join The Daily Circuit Tuesday to discuss resilience.

"We learn through these stories," she said. "We're fascinated with the idea of overcoming difficulty in the stories of heroes and heroism. Another interesting feature - they're an ordinary seeming person who rises to the occasion. I think they inherently recognize that we all, in a way, have the capacity for resilience. Even a regular person can make it through adversity."

Steven Southwick, professor of psychiatry at Yale, will also join the discussion.

"Resilience is complex and seems to be multidimensional in nature," he said. "Someone may be resilient in professional life but not in personal relationships. There might be resilience in one phase, but not in others. It's important to consider that there are a number of definitions of resilience."

VIDEO: This Emotional Life on Resilience

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