Connor Davidson Resilience Scale: What It Measures And How It Helps

By Julia Thomas|Updated February 2, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By EmeliaThygesen, LCMHC, LMHC

Would you like to know how well you're equipped to bounce back after trauma and tragedy? The Connor Davidson Resilience Scale can help you find out quickly and painlessly. The results can improve your life dramatically if you take a right next steps.

What Is Resilience?

Resilience is the ability to thrive in the face of adversity and bounce back from it. This adversity can be a traumatic event or situation. Tragedies happen to most people at one time or another. If you're resilient, you're better able to move through tragedy and trauma relatively quickly and easily.

Resilience is a trait you're born with and develop during your childhood. At the same time, resilience is a process you go through, whether it's because you're a resilient person or you've learned how to manage the process better.

What Is The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale?

The Connor Davidson Resilience Scale is a test that measures resilience. It starts with a pencil-and-paper test that is then scored and interpreted by someone who is authorized to do so. The main purpose of the test is to distinguish between people with more resilience and those with less resilience.

Who Are Connor And Davidson?

Kathryn M. Connor is a psychiatrist and researcher at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Connor has researched and written extensively on stress, anxiety, social anxiety, medications, and resilience.

Jonathan R.T. Davidson is now a Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University. His long list of publication credits includes reports and interpretations of studies on a wide range of psychiatric topics, including many on PTSD. Davidson has also written a great deal on homeopathic and complementary medicine.

How Connor And Davidson Developed Their Scale

Connor and Davidson began developing their scale after working with PTSD patients in clinical practice. They found that the resilience scales available at the time didn't help them much in treating their patients.

They wanted to develop a test that could be used in a wide variety of circumstances and with many different people. They also wanted a scale they could use to help people with PTSD and other mental problems.

They started with the original version of their scale and then tested it extensively before creating a version to be used in the field.

In their tests on the scale's effectiveness, they used it for several distinct groups. The following groups and their mean scores out of the maximum score of 100 were:

  • The general community, with mean score of 80.7
  • Primary care patients, with mean score of 71.8
  • General psychiatric outpatients, with mean score of 68.0
  • Generalized Anxiety clinical trial group, with mean score of 62.4
  • 2 PTSD clinical trial groups, with mean scores of 47.8 and 52.8

What Does The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale Measure?

The Connor Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) measures five basic components of resilience. These are:

  • Your abilities, standards, and characteristics.
  • Trusting your instincts, tolerating bad feelings, and getting stronger from stress.
  • Accepting change positively and having secure relationships.
  • Your
  • How spirituality influences you.

Who Is It For?

The CD-RISC was designed for adults. It's been found reliable when used for adolescents and children as young as ten years old. The test is written with a 5th grade reading level, so most children 12 and up can take it. However, if you do need help, an assistant can read the questions for you.

How Many Items Are On The Test?

There are three versions of the test, all based on the original test. The original complete test has 25 items. You need to complete at least 19 of these for the test to be valid.

If you don't have much time to take the test, you can take the 10-questions brief resilience test version or the 2-question test version. On the 10-question test, you need to complete at least 7 items.

For both the 25-item and 10-item version, the test results will be the most accurate if you answer all the questions. The 2-item test is called the CD-RISC2. Each of the shorter tests uses 10 or 2 of the exact questions on the 25-item test.

Often, one of these shorter versions is used for screening, and the complete version is used during actual treatment. However, Connor and Davidson have suggested that the much shorter 2-item version is valid and sufficient to assess resilience.

How Much Time Does It Take?

Most people can take the 25-item version within 10 minutes. The 10-item and 2-item versions only take between 1 and 5 minutes to take.

Who Gives And Scores The Test?

Anyone who gives the test must request the test from Connor and Davidson. They must state their qualifications and purposes for using the scale.

Most people who give this test are doctors, psychiatrists, and therapists. The person who gives the test is the one who scores it.

Where Can I Take the Test?

The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale is mainly used in research projects an in clinical practice. Unless you are a participant in a clinical trial, you'll most likely receive it from a doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist.

You can take the test wherever you and the person giving the test agree on. All you must do to get the chance to take it is to talk to your doctor or therapist and decide when and where to do it.

One thing you should never do, however, is to try to take the test on your own. There's no evidence or expectation that the test would be effective without the supervision of someone who has been given official approval to give it. Any test versions online are either incomplete or incorrect.

It's always best to request the test from someone who is qualified or can be qualified to give it, including doctors, psychiatrists, and therapists.

What's The Point Of Measuring My Resilience?

The Connor Davidson Resilience Scale provides several benefits.

Gaining Awareness

Knowing how resilient you can help you understand yourself better. The more you know about yourself, the better able you are to make intelligent decisions every day. For instance, if you find that you're not very resilient, you can consider how to deal with that. If you find that you are resilient, that knowledge can help you feel more confident about trying new ventures.

Choosing The Right Treatment For You

If you're experiencing anxiety, PTSD, or depression, getting treatment is an excellent decision. The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale can be used to assess which treatments will work best for you. How you score on the scale can show a mental health professional whether you're more likely to do well with medications and a specific type of therapy.

Dealing With PTSD

People who have PTSD typically score low on the CD-RISC. By taking the test and having a doctor or therapist score and interpret it, you can gain valuable knowledge about the severity of your condition. Then, after you're in treatment for a while, your therapist might give you the test again to help you see how much progress you're making toward overcoming your PTSD.

Improving Resilience

The scale can also help your therapist determine what steps you need to take to improve your resilience. If you feel vulnerable to every bump in the road of life, you might want to consider working on your resilience to become more steady and stable.

The CD-RISC can point your therapist to different aspects of resilience you score low in, including any of the five factors of resilience, such as acceptance of change.

How A Counselor Can Help

You could take an online version of the Connor Davidson Resilience scale. If you did, you would know no more than you did before it started. This is true for several reasons.

Get An Authorized Version

A counselor uses the authentic version of the CD-RISC scale. There are only three authorized versions of the CD-RISC. They all come directly from Connor and Davidson. The 25-question contains all the questions, and the 10-question and 2-question tests contain items selected from the original 25-question test.

No other version has been tested and evaluated as the Connor Davidson test has been. None other has been proven both accurate and helpful. The questions on the test are formulated in a specific way. The wording and order of the questions have been carefully refined and studied to get the most accurate results.

Proper Use And Interpretation

It might be interesting to take the test, but it won't tell you anything that will help you unless it's given properly and interpreted by someone who is trained to do so. When you work with a counselor, they understand how the test should be used and applied to individual clients.

Treatment Planning

You can't plan your treatment if you're getting therapy or medications. You can be very involved in the discussion, and of course, the final decisions are yours. You need to work with someone who knows the treatment options and understands how to improve resilience with them.

You can see a local counselor or talk to a licensed therapist online at to find out how you can improve your resilience and move towards the life you've always wanted to live!

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