Start delivering measurement based mental health care

Conduct psychological assessments remotely, get scores automatically, and maintain clinical records securely

Create account
Brief Resilience Scale

Brief Resilience Scale

What is BRS

The Brief Resilience Scale (BRS) was created to assess the ability to bounce back or recover from stress. While resilience has been defined as resistance to illness, adaptation, and thriving, the ability to bounce back or recover from stress is closest to its original meaning. Previous resilience measures assess resources that may promote resilience rather than recovery, resistance, adaptation, or thriving. The BRS is a reliable means of assessing resilience as the ability to bounce back or recover from stress and may provide unique and important information about people coping with health-related stressors.

BRS Printable PDF

You can create a free account on PsyPack to access fillable PDFs, manuals and educational resources for the BRS

BRS Scoring and Interpretation

PsyPack can automatically score the BRS assessment and prepare corresponding tables and graphs.

Further, PsyPack automatically plots a graph to help you easily track progress over time.



What does BRS measure

The purpose of the evaluation is to:

  • assess resilience as the ability to bounce back or recover from stress.



Type of outcome tool

Positive psychology

Assessment modes


Age and eligibility

Students, Adults

Estimated time

About 2 minutes


As is true of any self-report instrument, respondents can consciously distort their response to the scale if they are motivated to do so.

  • Previous measures of resilience target the personal characteristics that may promote positive adaptation and not resilience itself. The BRS is the only measure that specifically assesses resilience in its original and most basic meaning: to bounce back or recover from stress (Agnes, 2005). When studying people who are already ill, assessing the specific ability to recover may be more important than assessing the ability to resist illness.
  • The BRS may be uniquely related to health when controlling for previous resilience measures and measures of individual resilience resources (e.g., optimism and social support). Since the BRS is framed with regard to negative events (“stressful events,” “hard times,” “difficult times,” “set-backs”), it is not surprising that its unique effects were specific to reducing negative outcomes (anxiety, depression, negative af- fect, physical symptoms).
  • The relationship between the BRS and resilience resources suggests it may mediate the effects of resilience resources on health outcomes. Resources such as optimism, social support, active coping, and the range of those assessed by previous resilience measures may facilitate the ability to recover from stress or adversity. The ability to recover itself may, in turn, have a more direct relationship with health outcomes.
  • These studies have limitations which lay the groundwork for future studies using the BRS. The BRS needs to be used in longitudinal studies to determine whether it predicts recovery from important health stressors. In addition, the BRS needs to be compared with physiological indicators of bouncing back or recovery from stress and illness (Charney, 2004). Last, the relationship between the BRS and other forms of positive adaptation, such as thriving and posttraumatic growth, and their effects on health needs to be examined.

Attribution and References

Smith, B.W., Dalen, J., Wiggins, K. et al. The brief resilience scale: Assessing the ability to bounce back. Int. J. Behav. Med. 15, 194–200 (2008).