Brief Resilience Scale – Can you bounce back from stress?

The Brief Resilience Scale (BRS) is a self-rating questionnaire aimed at measuring an individuals’ ability to “bounce back from stress”. This instrument, developed by Smith et al. (2008), has not been used in the clinical population; however, it could provide some key insights for individuals with health-related stress (Smith, et al., 2008).

Amat et al. (2014) explain that the BRS instrument consists of six items, three positively worded items and three negatively worded items. All six relate to the individual’s ability to bounce back from adversity. The scale’s development controlled for protective factors such as social support in order to get a reliable resilience measure (Smith, et al., 2008).

This is the third and final resilience measure noted by Windle et al. (2011) as a highly valid and reliable measure of resilience, but there are many more with evidence to back their effectiveness.


  • 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.
1.I tend to bounce back quickly after hard times
2.I have a hard time making it through stressful events.
3.It does not take me long to recover from a stressful event
4.It is hard for me to snap back when something bad happens.
5.S 5 I usually come through difficult times with little trouble.
6.I tend to take a long time to get over set-backs in my life.

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