Methodological Considerations in Studying Individual and Family Resilience

Noel A. Card, Melissa A. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This article considers four methodological issues in the study of family resilience. The first focus is on measurement, in which the psychometric properties of reliability, validity, and measurement equivalence are described. The second methodological consideration is on efforts to establish causality in the absence of experimental manipulation. Here, the authors present longitudinal panel models as a prototypical approach, describing the possibilities and challenges of this and other techniques toward inferences of causality, especially in the context of family resiliency. Third, the authors consider modeling resilience as continuous versus categorical, specifically contrasting variable-centered versus person-centered conceptualizations and analytic approaches. Fourth, the authors consider the complexities of studying family resilience due to the multilevel nature of the phenomena. The article concludes with recommendations for a diversity of methodological foci as the study of family resilience advances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-133
Number of pages14
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Family
  • Measurement
  • Methodology
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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