EjSBS - The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences

The European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences

Online ISSN: 2301-2218
European Publisher

Negative Life Events and Resilience in Higher Education Students


Resilience is the capacity to overcome life adversities in a positive and constructive manner. The transition from high school to a higher education degree might function as an enhancer of crises and vulnerabilities. Negative Life Events (NLE) constitute any adverse circumstances against human development, possibly threatening the individual’s equilibrium. Our aim was to study how negative life events affect the resilience of higher education students, and to identify certain socio-demographic, family and academic variables, as well as negative life events they may have endured. A quantitative study based on a descriptive design sampled 382 students from a higher education institute in Portugal. In order to assess the proposed variables, Wagnild and Young’s Scale of Resilience (1993) which was adapted for the Portuguese population by Carvalho and Pereira (2012) and the Negative Life Events Inventory (Gonçalves, 2014) was utilised. We found significant relationships between the capacity for resilience and age, marital status, area of residence, school, and the use of drugs. Regarding life events, the dimensions “Neglect”, “Separation/Loss” and “Friend Satisfaction” were found to be strong predictors of resilience capacity. The results obtained show that higher negative life events indicate a student is better able to be self-sufficient and self-confident and have higher resilience. These results lead us to propose interventions which may facilitate the students’ ability to overcome their problems.

Keywords: Resiliencenegative life eventshigher educationstudents

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This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

About this article

Published online: 13.04.2017
Pages: 126-136
Publisher: Future Academy
In: Volume 19, Issue 2
DOI: 10.15405/ejsbs.211
Online ISSN: 2301-2218
Article Type: Original Research
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