It is not a concept that can be said to have a certain probability that something will be or that certain behaviours will be practiced because words or expressions of capabilities imply possibilities. Thus, being resilient as long as one is capable would not mean anything other than being in a position to do something as long as the opportunity is given or a particular circumstance is configured. Consequently, if the concept of resilience is applied to capabilities, it cannot be equalled or made dependent on concepts such as competencies, skills, self-efficacy, learning, coping and personality, as suggested by various authors (see Becoña, 2006; Cornejo, 2010; Gaxiola et al., 2011; Gaxiola et al., 2012; González-Arratia et al., 2011; Saavedra and Villalta, 2008; Vinaccia et al., 2007).
Returning to Ribes (2011), it is necessary to clarify that, regarding the terms of capacities, competencies and abilities, the former makes us know that being capable, being competent and being skillful is referring to three different things; will be cited for its importance again at length:
However, being capable in this sense does not necessarily imply being competent, since being competent is always being competent in something or for something implies specific capacity already shown in action in the past. Being capable does not describe something that you have previously done or are doing, but rather it means being in a position to do something if given the opportunity or circumstance. Being competent refers to the fact that you can do something because it has been done or because you have knowledge of what to do [...] Being skillful is doing something that conforms to something and, therefore, implies action and an object that is acted upon. There are no abilities without action objects and without adjusting the action to the characteristics of the object. Every skill always presupposes a technique and its appropriate use (Ribes, 2011; p. 37).
From this textual quotation, it follows that, contrary to what is stated in the literature referred to in Table 2, that of resilience as capacity, even when it is “related” to the concepts of competencies and abilities, is not equivalent to none and much But both can be reduced to the former: insofar as they belong to different conceptual categories, their logical function is also different. Each one serves to predict specific actions (such assets or collections of occurrences), which are of different types.
If they are capacities as adaptive responses -which is where there is a more significant agreement among the authors-, resilience cannot be defined as a process, contrary to what is stated by various authors (Becoña, 2006; Fernández-Lansac and Crespo, 2011; Ruiz and López, 2012), since those answers serve a particular purpose, which is to adapt to the social circumstances in which what to do is prescribed or demanded.
Furthermore, if the assumption of resilience as a process were accepted, then the question would be, how could one differentiate the resilient psychological processes that supposedly underlie resilience as an adaptive capacity as an outcome? If according to Roca (2001), talking about psychological processes refers to phenomena such as learning, development and thinking, then resilient processes could not be taken as equivalent to the acts or behaviours that are considered resilient, that is, instrumental responses for adaptation purposes, as evidence of resilience capacity.
But, even more, if the psychological processes suggested by Roca are accepted, then what psychological processes are appealed to ensure that resilience is a process? In any case, how are these psychological processes inferred? To answer both questions, it is necessary to go into a review of some measurement instruments, whose authors sometimes tacitly, sometimes explicitly, defend the existence of an underlying factor or dimension that they call resilience.
The people with the most significant capacity to overcome adversity – the most resilient – are those who are most satisfied with life, according to a study carried out with Psychology students from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).
The work, recently published in ‘Behavioral Psychology,’ supports how in the most adverse situations, such as the case of the loss of a loved one, some people suffer the consequences throughout their lives, while others – the majority– they overlap and the intensity of negative emotions decreases over time.
However, there is a third group of people to whom the experience of trauma makes them grow personally, making their lives acquire a new meaning and coming out strengthened.
Researchers from the Basic Psychology Unit of the UAB have analyzed the response of 254 students from the Faculty of Psychology in different questionnaires to assess their level of satisfaction with life and find relationships with their resilience and with the capacity for emotional repair, one of the components of emotional intelligence that consists of the ability to control one’s own emotions and those of others.
Study data has shown that the most resilient students, 20% of the survey participants, have the most satisfaction with life and are also those who believe they can control their emotions and mood.
It follows that resilience has a positive predictive effect on life satisfaction.
“Some of the characteristics of resilient people can be trained and improved, such as self-esteem and the regulation of their own emotions,” explains Joaquín Limonero, professor of the UAB research group, who assures that this learning could provide resources to people to facilitate their adaptation and improve their quality of life.
The UAB researcher Jordi Fernández, the professors of the Gimbernat School of Nursing Joaquín Tomás-Sábado and Amor Aradilla Herrera, and the psychologist and researcher of the mutual workplace accident Egarsat Maria José Gómez-Romero also participated in the research.