The Resilience Scale™ (RS™)

The 25-item Resilience Scale™ (RS™) is likely the most popular scale in the world to measure resilience.

You don't need to search any further for an outstanding tool to measure resilience. 

After 30 years of research, we know that our measures are: 

Reliable. Valid.  Proven.

The Resilience Scale™ (RS™) has been:

  • Translated into dozens of languages (see below).  
  • Requested by thousands of researchers.
  • Published in dozens of journals (see Bibliography).

When you purchase a licensing agreement, you will also receive the indispensable Resilience Scale User's Guide, which is sent electronically so you will have it within 48 hours M-F. 

Please read on if you are interested in more specific information about the Resilience Scale™ (RS™).

The 25-item Resilience Scale™ (RS™) is the original resilience measure and considered the “gold standard” for resilience assessments among researchers around the world. It is a highly valid and reliable 25-item measure and measures resilience in any setting. It was first published in 1993 and is the first resilience assessment to measure resilience directly.

I began the research for this measure in the early 1980s while I studied healthy aging among older adults and psychosocial adaptation to ischemic heart disease among women. I have always been curious about how people adapt during and after major losses and other difficult life events and the The Resilience Scale™ (RS™) measures the inner strengths required to adapt positively.

The Resilience Scale™ (RS™) measures strengths rather than limitations. Evidence shows that the more resilient you are the better able you’ll be to handle stress.


Cronbach’s alpha ranges from .87 to .95.

Construct Validity

A variety of methods have been used to assess the construct validity of the The Resilience Scale™ (RS™) and the accumulation of this evidence over the years supports and continues to support the construct validity. These methods include content analysis, known groups, convergent/discriminant studies, correlation studies, factor analysis, and pretest-posttest intervention studies. A review of the Bibliography on this website will demonstrate the wide range of studies that have established the construct validity.

We have learned that resilience (measured by the The Resilience Scale™ (RS™) is positively associated with self-esteem, active coping, forgiveness, health promotion, family health, psychological well-being, sense of community, social support, sense of coherence, healthy lifestyle behaviors, self-care during chronic illness, purpose in life, self-transcendence, religiosity, optimism, high physical function, spiritual well-being, goal achievement, and many other positive qualities.

We have learned that resilience measured by the Resilience Scale™ (RS™) is inversely related to hopelessness, helplessness, passive coping, stress, number of perceived stress events, depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia impact, battle fatigue stress, compassion fatigue, burnout, employee turnover, and other events.

Age groups

The The Resilience Scale™ (RS™) is written at the 6th grade level (12-13 years) and can be completed in about 5-7 minutes for most people.


The Resilience Scale™ (RS™)

is available in the following languages:

Bosnian, Chinese, Chinese (Taiwanese), Creole, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Malay, Nepali, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal), Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian,  Sinhalese, Slovenian, Spanish Castilian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish, and Urdu.

Examples of items include:

  • I can usually look at a situation in a number of ways.
  • I am determined.
  • My life has meaning.

Use of the Resilience Scale™ (RS™)

The Resilience Scale™ (RS™) is not offered online. Its primary purpose is for graduate student research and for established researchers in the university setting. If you would like an online measure for your organization, wellness program, workshop, university or school setting, we offer the online Resilience Assessments for Adults and Youth. 

Indispensable to the use of the Resilience Scale is the Resilience Scale User's Guide, which is sent electronically within 48 hours  M-F when you purchase a licensing agreement.

Frequently Asked Questions

The RS has been used with age groups as young as early teens (13 and 14 years old) as well as the very old (greater than 100 years old). The Flesch Reading Ease is 65.3, which is easily understandable by most 13-year olds. The Flesch-Kincaid Grade level is 6.4, which corresponds with the grade level.

The RS is a 25-item instrument and the 26th item is optional. It is a concurrent validity question for you to correlate with the sum of the preceding 25 items.

The RS has been associated with health promoting behaviors and self-management of illness in prior studies. More importantly, the RS measures the five core characteristics of resilience (purpose, perseverance, self-reliance, equanimity, and authenticity). Individuals, who have a reason to get up in the morning, believe they are capable, and have a drive to keep going, may be more likely to self-manage illness well. This means that a moderate to moderately high score using the RS may indicate better self-management potential.

Using the RS, the data from thousands of respondents strongly suggest that as one ages, scores on the RS increase. In a recent study of 1,061 individuals, the average RS scores for those younger than 30 were about 133 and for those older than 60, the RS scores averaged 143. For each 10 year age group, the score increased by 2-3 points.

The RS is consistently and significantly related to symptoms of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress. When the RS scores increase, symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress decrease.

The ‘Terms of Use’ state that if you choose to use the RS in your research, you are not allowed to change the wording, number of items, responses, and so forth of the RS. This is because the reliability and validity of the RS have been tested and reported in its current form and to change the scale may alter the validity and reliability of the RS.

The 25-item RS has been used for almost 25 years with solid reliability and validity data. The RS-14 has been used for about 8 years and also has very good psychometric properties. It is strongly correlated with the longer RS (r=.97) and the internal consistency reliability for the RS-14 is .93 (alpha coefficient). It takes about half the time to complete the RS-14.

Average response time is about 5-7 minutes and about half that for the RS-14.

The first thing you need to do is check with me to see if it has already been translated or is in the process of being translated. Then, once you have translated the RS, retaining the response categories and number of items, it needs to be back-translated to English by someone blind to the original English RS. The back-translated instrument needs to then be compared to the original RS. I am happy to read back-translated versions for accuracy in meaning also. If you are interested in translating the RS, RS14, TRS, or RS10 to a different language, we will require that you follow the WHO translation requirements. Please email me for more information.

Dr. Gail Wagnild’s book True Resilience  details the original research that led to the True Resilience Scale and her work prior to the creation of the scale that eventually led her to an in-depth understanding of resilience.

If you are a student researcher or an established researcher and would like to use the Resilience Scale™ (RS™)

in your research, please click on RS or Contact Us if you need additional information. We will respond within 72 hours M-F.