Drive to Thrive: A Theory of Resilience Following Loss

  • Wai Kai HouEmail author
  • Brian J. Hall
  • Stevan E. Hobfoll


Prior work has considered demand and distress, temporal dynamics, and differential outcomes in defining human stress resilience but not the processes and mechanisms of resilience across different life challenges. The purpose of this chapter is to outline the Drive to Thrive (DTT) theory in an attempt to advance existing understanding of stress adaptation and resilience among refugee and conflict-affected populations. The basic tenet of the DTT theory is that stress resilience is determined by sustaining the fabrics/routines (i.e., interwoven psychosocial and communal activities, procedures, and practices) and structure of everyday life. Primary and secondary fabrics/routines are distinguished to further current understanding on everyday life of stress adaptation based on theoretical and empirical evidence. Within the theory, the Sustaining Everyday Life Fabrics and Structure (SELFS) model outlines how consolidation, replacement, and addition of everyday life fabrics shape the association between trauma exposure and physical and mental health over time. The current literature on everyday adaptation among refugee and conflict-affected populations is critically reviewed. Applications of the theory to guide empirical investigation and intervention development among refugee populations and populations affected by war, are evaluated through the lens of principles derived from the theory.


Everyday life Stress Resilience Refugees Conflict-affected Drive to thrive 



This chapter was prepared under the partial support of Early Career Scheme (Project No.: HKIED 859113) and the Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Senior Research Scholar Award from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (WK Hou). The Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Award was in collaboration with the Consulate General of the United States in Hong Kong.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wai Kai Hou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Brian J. Hall
    • 2
  • Stevan E. Hobfoll
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe Education University of Hong KongHong Kong, SARChina
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MacauMacau SARChina
  3. 3.Department of Behavioral SciencesRush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA

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