Resilience, Identity Tension, Hope, Social Capital, and Psychological Stress During a Pandemic

John C. Sherblom, Laura R. Umphrey, Paulina Swiatkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The present study examines two conceptual approaches to defining resilience and the implications for its effect on psychological stress. One approach places resilience in the communication processes through which individuals and groups develop identity anchors, alternative logics, positive emotion, new normalcies, and communication networks during challenging times. The other approach describes the identity tension, hope, and social capital that develops in communication networks as relational attributes that create the contextual constraints and opportunities for that resilience. Regression analysis results demonstrate that both the communication processes and relational attributes of resilience affect psychological stress, but differently. The communication processes of establishing identity anchors, positive emotion, and communication networks predict the situational stress dimension. The relational attributes of personal-relational identity tension, hope, and weak-tie social capital predict the self-efficacy dimension. Both dimensions are important to understanding psychological stress. Hence, viewing resilience as a system of communication processes and relational attributes provides a fuller description of its relationship to psychological stress than either approach alone. This finding has implications for developing proactive strategies to manage the psychological stress of college students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-51
Number of pages15
JournalAdversity and Resilience Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Hope
  • Identity tension
  • Psychological stress
  • Resilience
  • Social capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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