Testing Kumpfer’s Resilience Model Among Adults With Serious Mental Illness

Deyu Pan, Jennifer Sánchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Having a serious mental illness (SMI) is often associated with significant adversities, and people respond differently to adversities. The existing research supports the idea that people with SMI can achieve and maintain positive life outcomes despite experiencing adversities. Resilience, the ability to cope with (or bounce back quickly from) crisis, can help buffer the negative effects of various types of adversities, including chronic illness and disability, and facilitate the psychosocial adaptation process to SMI. Kumpfer’s resilience model, a person–process–context framework, has been widely used to conceptualize, and assess for, resilience in various populations, including people with chronic illnesses and disabilities. However, the research in resilience among people with SMI is very limited. The purpose of this study was to empirically assess the utility of Kumpfer’s resilience model and its proposed predictive components for conceptualizing the adaptation process to SMI. One hundred forty-four participants completed a Qualtrics survey containing demographic questions and a series of validated instruments representing the major components of Kumpfer’s resilience model. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to analyze the data, and the final model explained 71% of the variance of the dependent variable—adaptation to disability. Avoidance coping, internalized stigma, and optimism were significant independent predictors of adaptation to disability. This study supports the utilization of Kumpfer’s resilience model to conceptualize the adaptation to disability process among people with SMI. Implications for rehabilitation counseling practices are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-293
Number of pages15
JournalRehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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