There are two different resilience scales available in PsyToolkit, this one and the BRCS.

Resilience is the ability to cope with difficulties. The term resilience is often used in the medical world to describe patients' coping ability.

There are many self-help videos about resilience on YouTube, like this one. Resilience is also an important part of positive psychology.

Windle and colleagues (2011) wrote a great review paper about resilience scales, and concluded:

We found no current ‘gold standard’ amongst 15 measures of resilience. On the whole, the measures developed for adults tended to achieve higher quality assessment scores. Future research needs to focus on reporting further validation work with all the identified measures. A choice of valid resilience measures for use with different populations is urgently needed to underpin commissioning of new research in a public health, human-wellbeing and policy context.

— Windle et al. (2011)

One of the best and highly recommended (Windle et al., 2011) resilience scales is the Brief Resilience Scale by Smith and colleagues, 2008.

The possible score range on the BRS is from 1 (low resilience) to 5 (high resilience). In a study with 844 participants, a mix of healthy people and people suffering from diseases, Smith and colleagues found an average score of 3.70 (Smith et al., 2013, p.177).

According to the authors of the BRS, scores can be interpreted as follows (xrefs:refs[Smith et al., 2013, p.177]):

BRS score Interpretation


Low resilience


Normal resilience


High resilience

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The BRS can be used for research and education as long as it is properly cited and as long as the authors are acknowledged (Smith et al., 2008).

Various other resilience scales can be used only if you pay for them. It seems that medical professionals often want to charge for scales they develop. Be careful with other resilience scales than the BRS or the BRCS.


This is a very simple scale item in which the scores of the 6 Likert items (half reverse coded) are summed.

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: agree
- Strongly disagree
- Disagree
- Neutral
- Agree
- Strongly agree

l: brs
t: scale agree
o: width 40%
q: Instructions:<br>
Use the following scale and select one option for each statement to indicate
how much you disagree or agree with each of the statements.
- I tend to bounce back quickly after hard times
- {reverse} I have a hard time making it through stressful events
- It does not take me long to recover from a stressful event
- {reverse} It is hard for me to snap back when something bad happens
- I usually come through difficult times with little trouble
- {reverse} I tend to take a long time to get over set-backs in my life

l: score
t: set
- mean $brs

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your score (on a range from 1 to 6) is {$score} points.<br>
Scores below 3.00 are considered <b>low</b> resilience.<br>
Scores above 4.30 are considered <b>high</b> resilience.


  • Smith, B.W., Dalen, J., Wiggins, K., Tooley, E., Christopher, P. and Bernard, J. (2008). The Brief Resilience Scale: Assessing the Ability to Bounce Back. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine,15, 194-200.

  • Smith, B.W., Epstein, E.E., Oritz, J.A., Christopher, P.K., & Tooley, E.M. (2013). The Foundations of Resilience: What are the critical resources for bouncing back from stress? In Prince-Embury, S. & Saklofske, D.H. (Eds.), Resilience in children, adolescents, and adults: Translating research into practice, The Springer series on human exceptionality (pp. 167-187). New York, NY: Springer.

  • Windle, G., Bennett, K.M., & Noyes, J. (2011). A methodological review of resilience measurement scales. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 9:8. Get this open access article.