Resilience and mental health across two disparate populations
: Assessment, intervention and outcomes

  • Aoife Malone

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctorate in Clinical Psychology


This thesis comprises two elements; a systematic review and meta-analysis and empirical paper, investigating the construct of resilience in two disparate populations.

Systematic Review: This study examines the effectiveness of resilience-based interventions on outcomes of resilience and mental health, across all settings and contexts, in children and adolescents. Randomised controlled trials were searched for via electronic databases, with no date restriction. Outcomes of interest included self-reported levels of resilience and mental health-related outcomes. Effect sizes were pooled by random-effects modelling. Cochrane Risk of Bias tool was used to assess the quality of all included studies. Twenty-seven samples (n = 17,959) were included in the meta-analysis. Results indicated resilience interventions demonstrated significant improvements on levels of resilience, compared to controls, which were maintained at follow up. Subgroup analysis demonstrated the increased effectiveness of resilience interventions when CBT-based, delivered over four to six weeks, and in school settings. Recommendations for the development of resilience interventions based on these findings are presented.

Empirical Paper: Through employing a factor analysis, this study aimed to establish a meaningful factor structure for the 10-item Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (Campbell-Sills & Stein, 2007) in a military veteran population. This study also aimed to determine whether resilience influenced the relationship between social support and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), using mediation analysis. Findings supported the validity of a six-item, single-factor measure (CDRISC-6; Gorman et al., 2021) of resilience, with excellent internal consistency and validity. Results on the CDRISC-6 were found to partially mediate the relationship between social support and PTSD symptoms in military veterans. Findings are discussed in line with current literature and study limitations. Theoretical, research, and clinical implications of these findings and their application to military veterans are presented.

Thesis embargoed until 31 December 2023
Date of AwardDec 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorCherie Armour (Supervisor), Donncha Hanna (Supervisor) & David Curran (Supervisor)

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