Transilience, the perceived capacity to persist, adapt flexibly, and positively transform in the face of an adversity, is a promising construct for understanding human adaptation to climate change risks. However, the question remains whether transilience is also relevant for adaptation to other adversities. In this paper, we investigate the role of transilience in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which posed a more urgent and acute threat to individuals compared to climate change. We conducted two studies in Italy and the Netherlands to examine whether people perceived transilience in the face of COVID-19 across different time points and countries, in which the severity of the pandemic and government measures varied. Furthermore, we studied the relationship between transilience and adaptive responses, including individual and collective adaptation behaviors, cognitive coping, well-being, and positive personal change. The results suggest that people perceive transilience in the face of COVID-19, and that higher transilience promotes adaptive responses and mental health in the face of COVID-19, in the Netherlands, but not in Italy. Moreover, longitudinal analyses indicate that transilience may be causally related to future behaviors and well-being. These findings suggest that transilience may be a robust predictor of adaptive responses and well-being in the context of different adversities, although this may depend on the specific context. Future research directions and theoretical implications are discussed.

Individual Transilience in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Valentina Lozano Nasi, Lise Jans and Linda Steg
Journal of Environmental Psychology
19 November, 2023

Valentina Lozano Nasi, Lise Jans and Linda Steg