Sara J. Blessington, PsyD, is a 2023 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee

William Heusler, PsyD, Committee Chair

Michael Sakuma, PhD, Committee Member

Douglas Kerr, PhD, Committee Member


resilience, broad and build theory of emotions, biopsychosocial model, attachment, positive psychology, well-being, stress and trauma, postmodern therapy, utilization principle, carl rogers, john bowlby, mary ainsworth, mixed methods, convergent parallel design, conner-davidison resilience scale, older adults

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The definition of a word helps us understand its context and how it is meant to be used in daily life or research. When a word lacks a universal definition, it is hard to know how to use it. “Resilience” is that type of word. The resilience community in psychological research does not have a concrete, universal definition for this word. It takes on whatever characteristics are useful to the investigator. This study began with seeking a universal definition for the domain known as resilience. This study used a convergent parallel design with adults aged 60 and older living independently to seek out their personal definitions of resilience, then employed a well validated measure—the Conner-Davidson-25 (CD-RISC-25)—to test this population’s resiliency and how they felt the measure addressed to domain of resilience. The findings of the study demonstrated that resilience is a complex and nuanced domain and a broad scope, making it challenging to develop a universal definition.


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Sara J. Blessington, PsyD, 2023

ORCID Scholar ID# 0009-0003-4882-5706