Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Alexa Smith-Osborne


The concept of resilience was empirically discovered over 40 years ago. Over the last several decades' researchers continued to generate a theoretical and empirical evidence base relative to the concept of resilience. This study builds on the existing theoretical and empirical literature of resilience in an attempt to construct a measurement model capable of assessing the protective factors associated with resilience in an older adult population. The development of the tested measurement model was two-fold (N=151). First, a qualitative interpretive meta-synthesis (QIMS) of qualitative studies on resilience among older adults was performed. Findings from the QIMS revealed 9 factors: Grit, Previous Experience with Hardship, External Connections, Independence, Positive Perspective on Life, Meaningfulness, Self-Care, Altruism and Self-Acceptance. Second, findings from a systematic review of resilience instruments were compared with the 9 factors generated from the QIMS in order to determine similarities and differences. Finally, items were generated and rated by an expert review panel. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed on each of the nine factors followed by the overall proposed model. The nine one-factor models all exhibited good model fit whereas the nine-factor model was problematic. The nine factor model was respecified based on internal resilience protective factors versus behavioral and experience resilience protective factors. Both models were tested using CFA and exhibited good model fit. Overall, the results suggest two separate measures are required to assess resilience protective factors among older adults. One measure focuses on the innate or internal protective factors, whereas the other measure focuses on the behavioral and experience protective factors. Findings from this study have application for social work practice and research.


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Social Work Commons