Qualitative Assessment of Resilience: Lessons from Rural Women in South India





Resilience, Rural Women, Qualitative Assessment, COVID-19, Positive Cognitive Triad, Psychological Capital


Resilience among women has garnered significant research attention, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 United Nations’ theme of "Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19" aligned with that of the present study and sought to assess the applicability of the positive cognitive triad and psychological capital lenses in understanding the resilience characteristics of rural women in India. The study involved a diverse group of conveniently selected 31 rural women from the Idukki district, Kerala, South India, spanning an age range of 18 to 74 years. The deductive and inductive analyses of interview transcripts revealed convergence to the proposed positive cognitive triad -psychological capital framework and the emergence of new themes. Notably, gender emerged as a distinct theme that did not align with the operational definition of resilience, highlighting its significance in explaining resilience among Indian rural women. The study acknowledges limitations such as limited generalizability, social desirability bias, and a lack of quantitative data. In conclusion, this research contributes valuable insights to the literature on resilience among Indian rural women, emphasizing the importance of gender-centric and culturally sensitive resilience measures. The study recommends the implementation of such measures to enable a comprehensive assessment of resilience in this population, providing valuable resources for government and non-government agencies to design appropriate psychosocial interventions.

Author Biographies

Ms. Radhika Mohan, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham

Ms. Radhika Mohan is currently undertaking her Ph.D. at the Centre for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality, School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, India, specifically exploring resilience in Indian women. At the Centre for Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality, she works as a Research Associate. Her experience is invaluable, as she has actively participated in community outreach initiatives promoting women's empowerment in rural India. Her projects include teaching teachers 21st-century skills in schools in rural regions and holding workshops for a paramilitary force in India on Gender sensitisation and inner strength. Her research interests include family resilience and gender harmony, as well as women's protection and security.

Dr. Preetha Menon, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6740-390X

Preetha Menon, PhD, is an Assistant Professor (Selection Grade) at Amrita School of Spiritual and Cultural Studies, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri, India. She is a trained psychotherapist with over 16 years of teaching and research experience. She holds a doctorate in counselling psychology. Her area of expertise is counselling psychology, and she has made a substantial contribution to both the therapeutic and academic realms.

Ms. Anjana J.S., https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2901-1817

Anjana J.S. holds a Master's in Social Work from Amrita School of Social and Behavioural Science, Amritapuri, India.  Her research centres on comparing the resilience levels among women in rural areas.


Ms. Aswathy J, https://orcid.org/0009-0006-4857-7329

Ms. Aswathy J is a final year MSW student at Amrita School of Social and Behavioural Science, Amritapuri, India. Her research centres on psychosocial variables, promotes gender equality, and focuses on the complex aspects of resilience in rural women. Her research emphasises the role of gender in understanding resilience among Indian rural women by using the positive cognitive triad and psychological capital lenses, which were inspired by the UN's discussions on the effects of COVID-19.