People affected by wars frequently present distress symptoms and varied fears but may also exhibit resolve and resilience. The study aimed to examine strengths and vulnerability factors that predict resilience during the war in Ukraine, among Ukrainian citizens who directly experience military aggression and Polish citizens, who are exposed to the influx of refugees. Using internet panels, samples of people from Ukraine and Poland (N = 1001 and N = 1078, respectively) completed a structured questionnaire, based on validated scales that measured individual, community, and societal resilience, sense of danger, distress symptoms, hope, morale, well-being, and demographic characteristics. Hope was identified as the best predictor, and well-being was the second-best predictor of community and societal resilience in both countries. While higher percentages of Ukrainian versus Polish respondents displayed high levels of sense of danger (61% vs 15%, respectively) and distress symptoms (27% vs 17%, respectively), they simultaneously presented much higher levels of the community (47% vs 22%, respectively) and societal (66% vs 24%, respectively) resilience. The results suggest that strengths factors are better indicators of resilience than vulnerability factors, in a situation of severe adversity. An existential threat to the independence and sovereignty of Ukrainian society may catalyze a high sense of societal resilience.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
K. Kaniasty's contributions to this study were supported by the National Science Centre, Poland . Program OPUS-19 grant No. 2020/37/B/HS6/02 . We would like to acknowledge the ongoing administrative support of Kristina Geva that facilitated the joint work.
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd
- Community resilience
- Distress symptoms
- Societal resilience
- Ukraine war
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
- Safety Research