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date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Conservation of resources (COR) theory has become one of the two leading theories of stress and trauma in the past 20 years, along with the pioneering theory of Lazarus and Folkman (1984). COR theory emphasizes objective elements of threat and loss, and common appraisals held jointly by people who share a biology and culture. This places central emphasis on objective reality and greater focus on circumstances where clear stressors are occurring, rather than a focus on personal appraisal. Although originally formulated to focus on major and traumatic stress, COR theory has also become a major theory in the field of burnout and the emerging field of positive psychology. This chapter reviews the principles of COR theory and covers new ground by examining more closely aspects of resource gain cycles and how they might contribute to resilience.

Keywords:  resource loss, resource gain, engagement, resilience, major and traumatic stress

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