A new national multi-year longitudinal study of the effects of adverse life events on mental health has found that adverse experiences do, in fact, appear to foster subsequent adaptability and resilience, with resulting advantages for mental health and well being.
This may not be exactly scientific observation but a statistical one.
The study, "Whatever Does Not Kill Us: Cumulative Lifetime Adversity, Vulnerability and Resilience," to be published in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, is available on the website of the American Psychological Association.
"Our findings revealed," Seary one of the senior authors of this study says, "that a history of some lifetime adversity — relative to both no adversity or high adversity — predicted lower global distress, lower functional impairment, lower PTS symptoms and higher life satisfaction."
The team also found that, across these same longitudinal outcome measures, people with a history of some lifetime adversity appeared less negatively affected by recent adverse events than other individuals.
Rather than statistical evidence, I would like to see some scientific evidence of this. But interesting result all the same.