Best of the Best: The Hidden Cost of Resilience, with Ernestine Briggs-King, Ph.D.

Season 2Episode 14July 17, 2020

In this rebroadcast of a popular episode, resilience is good, but research shows all may not be well with kids who look like they're doing just fine.

In this rebroadcast of a popular episode, we explore how kids fare after abuse: the hidden cost of resilience. Dr. Ernestine Briggs-King from Duke University School of Medicine and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network talks to us about resilience in kids who have suffered abuse, and how what we see on the surface isn’t always the full story. What does the research tell us about the long-term issues that even the most resilient children may face? And what impact do racism and other forms of discrimination have on kids, both as an adverse experience itself and as it affects their recovery from trauma?

Topics in this episode:

  • What is resilience?
  • Factors that help people be resilient
  • Abuse disrupts social connections
  • Racism, homophobia, and other compounding factors
  • The hidden cost of resilience
  • Talking to caregivers
  • Racism’s impacts, and the role of caregivers
  • Resources


Ernestine Briggs-King, Ph.D., Duke University School of Medicine, and the Center for Child & Family Health

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Robert Pynoos, MD, UCLA

Gene Brody, Ph.D. “UGA Research Uncovers Cost of Resiliency in Kids,” by April Reese Sorrow, May 20, 2013, University of Georgia Columns.

Is Resilience Only Skin Deep? Rural African Americans’ Preadolescent Socioeconomic Status-Related Risk and Competence and Age 19 Psychological Adjustment and Allostatic Load,” by Gene H. Brody Tianyi Yu, et al, July 1, 2013, Psychological Science, Vol. 24(7): 1285-1293.

Family Support Buffers the Physiological Effects of Racial Discrimination,” by Gene Brody, March 1, 2016, Association for Psychological Science Observer.

The Hidden Cost of Resilience,” by Leonora Desar, June 6, 2013, Psychology Today.

Professor Ann S. Masten, University of Minnesota, author of Ordinary Magic: Resilience in Development

This New Yorker article, “How People Learn to Become Resilient,” talks about the work of Norman Garmezy and Emmy Werner.

Sir Michael Rutter

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Transcript to come.