Count Your Life by Smiles and Tears: An Integrative Review on Resilience and Growing Older

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The concept of “resilience” is considered helpful in understanding how people navigate adversities typical to later life. It is also a concept of growing interest internationally in research and in social policy and (social) practice. This
article employs an integrative review methodology to explore current trends in theoretical and empirical research on resilience. A total of 25 quantitative and qualitative studies from 2011 to 2020 are included in this review. Findings indicate how the reviewed studies typically define resilience from three perspectives: resource-based, outcome-based, and process-based perspectives of resilience. In the results of the same studies, the resource-based and outcome-based perspectives are elaborated upon while detailed results from a process-based perspective are lacking. Additionally, even though adversity is recognized as a key element in conceptualizing resilience, it is scarcely defined if defined at all in the reviewed studies. Further research is recommended in this article to contribute to a realistic and encouraging narrative on growing older in social policy and (social) practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
JournalGerontology and Geriatric Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • resilience
  • growing older
  • aging
  • later life
  • adversity

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