This book illustrates the burgeoning literature focusing on the ill effects of many forms of adversity, misfortune and disaster, whether deliberate and human-inspired or of, so-called, natural origins. There appear to be many possible ways in which humans can fare badly in response to endogenous and exogenous stress, inequity and inequality. But, by contrast with the risks and the all-too-real suffering of so many survivors, we are struck by the positive ways in which so many people appear to cope with the stress, strain and potentially deleterious impacts. Indeed, post-traumatic growth and mental health problems that are consequent on disasters do not appear to lie at the opposite extremes of a spectrum of outcome, but may co-occur.
We are moved to ask how so many people do well or reasonably well and in what ways that learning might be applied to preventing people from developing problems in the future.