Resilience revisited: AIDS and resilience among a Yi ethnic minority in Southwest China

Rachel Sing Kiat Ting, Louise Sundararajan, Yuanshan Luo, Junyi Wang, Kejia Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study attempts to widen the conceptual space of resilience in (Western) psychology in order to better capture the resilience landscape of an ethnic minority group ravaged by the HIV/AIDS pandemic—the Nuosu-Yi in Southwest China. Without decolonizing the construct of resilience, non-Western versions of coping with adversities cannot be properly understood. Our process of decolonization of resilience involved two steps: First, we conducted semistructured interviews with the target population (N = 21) to take inventory of their Indigenous notions of resilience. Second, for conceptual comparison, we mapped the themes and categories, derived from thematic analysis, of the interview data onto the conceptual space of the Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA), which we used as proxy for mainstream conceptualizations of resilience. This mapping revealed multiple lacunae in the theoretical framework of RSA, and unique properties in the Indigenous approach to adversities in contrast. Far reaching theoretical and practical implications of this investigation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTheory and Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Apr 2021


  • decolonization
  • ethnic minority
  • Indigenous psychology
  • resilience
  • resilience scale for adults

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