Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences

Resilience Centre

– Department of Psychology

Resilience Centre;
For promotion of Mental Health and Wellbeing across Cultures and Lifespan

Contact: Odin Hjemdal

 

About the research centre:

The research centre is located in the Psychology Department of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The centre focuses on resilience research on adults and adolescents, both in clinical and non-clinical settings, across different cultural settings, with a life-span developmental perspective.   

The aims of the centre are:

  1. To test and develop a culturally sensitive framework to investigate the protective factors that constitute resilience,

  2. To further understand the mechanisms and pathways underlining resilience as a protective factor against vulnerabilities and adversities, and as a precursor to mental health, physical health and wellbeing,

  3. To broaden the use of resilience frameworks in community and clinical settings as a tool for building hope, optimism and recovery.

In collaboration with highly distinguished researchers and practitioners in Norway, Europe, Africa, Australia, Asia and South-America we are working on the validation process of culturally sensitive measures of resilience developed in the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the University of Tromsø (The Resilience Scales for Adults –RSA- and Adolescents – READ).

Research is conducted combining different instruments and constructs associated with mental health as well as with relevant socio-cultural and health indicators of adaptation and wellbeing. Complementary – qualitative and quantitative – research designs are used with an ecological focus that examines intrapersonal dispositions, interpersonal, family milieu and systems, external social support and cultural factors associated with resilience. Research results will provide researchers and practitioners with relevant indicators of protective resources for vulnerable groups and individuals; it will also track changes in protective factors that will facilitate the development of interventions and experimental studies in the future.

The Center is headed by Prof. Odin Hjemdal, Professor in Clinical Adult Psychology, Statistics and Psychometrics. Odin is also a Psychologist with background in Metacognitive Therapy (MCT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). His research interests include resilience, psychometrics, anxiety, depression, clinical treatment trials using MCT and CBT, developmental psychopathology, and neuropsychological aspects related to psychopathology.

Focus and scope

We approach the study of resilience as protective mechanisms that deal with adverse life circumstances. Resilience is not an individual predisposition, a stable trait of personality or an outcome of positive adaptation. Resilience involves complex and dynamic processes of development, and it may be inferred from the interactions of its components of protection, risk and adaptation. Therefore, research on resilience examines individual differences in positive responses to specific vulnerabilities or environmental threats.  

Protective factors of resilience have a decisive impact on physical health, mental health, organizational wellbeing, social adaptation, and on diverse domains of positive growth of young and adult people. It has also a clear impact in the quality of life and wellbeing in the aging process.

The centre is developing and disseminating a model to understand and further intervene on resilience. We are looking for new methods in which resilience will be efficiently applied to boost wellbeing, such as the use of new technologies for evaluation and treatment. Furthermore, the centre is interested in developing an interdisciplinary approach to connect psychological resilience with ecological, environmental, organizational or community interventions. 

The main activities of the centre are local, international, and cross-cultural research, as well as cooperation among research, educational, health and development organizations. Other key tasks are teaching and dissemination.