The Brief Resilience Scale

General information


The Brief Resilience Scale was created to assess the perceived ability to bounce back or recover from stress. The scale was developed to assess a unitary construct of resilience, including both positively and negatively worded items.

The possible score range on the BRS is from 1 (low resilience) to 5 (high resilience).



Instructions (depending on how the questions are set out):

How strongly to you agree or disagree with the following statements
or Respond to each statement below by circling one answer per row


1. I tend to bounce back quickly after hard times.
2. I have a hard time making it through stressful events.
3. It does not take me long to recover from a stressful event.
4. It is hard for me to snap back when something bad happens.
5. I usually come through difficult times with little trouble.
6. I tend to take a long time to get over setbacks in my life.


Strongly Disagree,
Strongly Agree

Questionnaire here


Smith, B. W., Dalen, J., Wiggins, K., Tooley, E., Christopher, P., & Bernard, J. (2008). The brief resilience scale: assessing the ability to bounce back. International journal of behavioral medicine, 15(3), 194-200.


Validation details

Fung SF. Validity of the Brief Resilience Scale and Brief Resilient Coping Scale in a Chinese Sample. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(4):1265. Published 2020 Feb 16. doi:10.3390/ijerph17041265

Cronbach’s α = 0.71


Cost / Terms of Use

Free (No permission required)

Instructions and Scoring

Note that items 1, 3, and 5 are positively worded, and items 2, 4, and 6 are negatively worded. The BRS is scored by reverse coding items 2, 4, and 6 and finding the mean of the six items.

For questions 1, 3, and 5:
1. Strongly Disagree, 2. Disagree, 3. Neutral, 4. Agree, 5. Strongly Agree

For questions 2, 4, and 6:
5. Strongly Disagree, 4. Disagree, 3. Neutral, 2. Agree, 1. Strongly Agree

Add the responses varying from 1-5 for all six items giving a range from 6-30. Divide the total sum by the total number of questions answered.

BRS score Interpretation


Low resilience


Normal resilience


High resilience

Smith, B.W., Epstein, E.E., Oritz, J.A., Christopher, P.K., & Tooley, E.M. (2013). The Foundations of Resilience: What are the critical resources for bouncing back from stress? In Prince-Embury, S. & Saklofske, D.H. (Eds.), Resilience in children, adolescents, and adults: Translating research into practice, The Springer series on human exceptionality (pp. 167-187). New York, NY: Springer.


In a study with 844 participants, a mix of healthy people and people suffering from diseases (cardiac patients and women with fibromyalgia), Smith and colleagues found an average score of 3.70 (Smith et al., 2013, p.177).

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Further reading

There are a number of other resilience scales in use, and a good review of them is:

Windle, G., Bennett, K.M. & Noyes, J. A methodological review of resilience measurement scales. Health Qual Life Outcomes 9, 8 (2011).