First Advisor

Paula Carder

Date of Award

Spring 6-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Public Health Studies: Health Services Administration and University Honors


Health Studies




Resilience (Personality trait) -- Research, COVID-19 Pandemic (2020- ), Older people -- Psychology, Older people -- Social conditions




The events of the last 2 years have complicated the lives of older adults throughout the world. For many, their survival can be traced back to one key trait: resilience. In the state of Oregon, the years 2020-2022 came with a host of issues that expanded past the COVID-19 pandemic. These events provide context for the world our storytellers discuss.

Using a snowball recruitment strategy through the efforts of community organizations and senior centers, 4 storytellers sat down to describe their resilience in different ways. They were asked to reflect on their own life experiences, how it influenced their resilience, and how they would define this trait for themselves.

The themes of standing your ground, wanting to support and be supported, and existential concern vs. connection arose through narrative and thematic analysis.

Each life story shared and reflected upon highlighted how one would have the capacity to survive the last two years. Our storytellers found their resilience in watching others go through similar trials and in having experienced some of their own.

Knowing someone's key memories and life story can help identity trigger moments that may've led to their current resilience bank. This study could be expanded upon past the undergraduate level by speaking to older adults outside of Oregon or by doing a more targeted recruitment process.


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