Resilience has gained considerable attention over the past four decades since researchers observed that children and youth could cope and adapt in spite of adversity. Adolescence is considered to be a period of vulnerability for most individuals as they often partake in risky behaviour. Using multiple databases and inclusion criteria, a review of the literature was undertaken to determine what is known about this concept in reported studies from 2000-2008.
Empirical evidence indicates that resilience is dynamic, developmental in nature, and interactive with one's environment. A variety of variables have been studied to clarify the concept of resilience in adolescents. Although there is an abundance of literature on adolescent resilience, little is known about this process in the healthy, well-adjusted adolescent. There are gaps and inconsistencies in reported findings. Results of the review provide useful resources for application to nursing education, practice, and research. Research resources and instruments measuring resilience provide additional knowledge. Nurses are in a key position to help the adolescent minimise risky behaviors and promote positive lifestyle practices.