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Tomayto/Tomahto? What’s the difference between “resilience” and “resiliency”?

Here’s what we’ve been working on – based on a theoretical framework developed by Peter Murrell:
Resilience pertains to a certain emotional ruggedness in individuals that allows them to persevere in the face of adversity. The term resilience connotes a state or condition of emotional strength, persistence and perseverance of an individual under adverse conditions. Over the past 20 years, there has been a wave of interest in the specific assets that make up the character of resilience – from The Search Institute’s 40 Assets for Youth to Paul Tough’s seven characteristics that help children succeed. The second wave, according to one meta-analysis (Richardson, 2011), is an interest in the process: how do we foster the development of these attributes? ACTS focuses on what Richardson calls the “third wave” of resiliency theory: the conditions that lead to the development of attributes of resilience. In our view, “resiliency” is the character of a community or environment that fosters resilience in its members. A school community will develop resiliency as it comes together to employ common practices that support the growth of strong, grounded, confident and hopeful individual identity and caring relationships.

By distinguishing the use of “resilience” and “resiliency,” we are making a critical distinction as a defining aspect of our work. In point of fact, even the most current literature is ambiguous on this point of distinction, most of which either suggest that the two terms are synonymous or are totally ambiguous. That distinction is this: resilience is the construct referring to those capacities that undergird individuals draw on to thrive, survive, and engage in optimal performance and develop despite the stress and adverse conditions. On the other hand resiliency refers to more than just the capacities and qualities of an individual, but also incorporates the understanding that an individual is in a process of development and a social-cultural-political context. Thus, we work toward increased capacity at three interlocking levels: the individual, the context and (most importantly) the individual-in-context. Resiliency is a condition of development towards greater capacity for optimal performance for individuals-in-context. Though it is important to determine how to develop individual capacities as identified features,this determination is impossible without an account of the social contexts the individual is operating in.


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Thanks to our partners!

For the 2016-2017 academic year, ACTS is working exclusively with:
-Academy for College and Career Exploration
-Arlington Elementary/Middle School
-Creative City Public Charter School
-Harford Heights Elementary School
-KASA (Knowledge and Success Academy)

Baltimore City Public School System and the amazing schools where we enjoy our work!

Morgan State University

Social Work Community Outreach Services (SWCOS) of the University of Maryland School of Social Work

Park Heights Renaissance

Strong City Baltimore (formerly known as Greater Homewood Community Corporation)

The Y of Central Maryland

Family League of Baltimore City

Contact us to join this partner list today!