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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Restricted mobility, activity, or physical loss can have psychological consequences, so that some individuals report a variety of depressive symptoms and problem behaviors following disability onset. Yet many people with disabilities adjust to their circumstances reasonably well. The focus of this chapter is on those who exhibit positive reactions to living with disability. Our discussion is grounded in the theoretical and empirical perspectives of positive psychology; the constructive, person–situation focus of rehabilitation psychology; and the approaches emerging from the synergy of both research areas. Positive psychology emphasizes three foci: subjective states, individual processes, and the creation and maintenance of positive social institutions that facilitate participation in personal and social activities. We consider the first two foci by examining happiness, and then resiliency and positive growth. We then consider the implications of our review for future research and therapy.

Keywords: happiness, resilience, positive growth, disability, rehabilitation

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