Subjective Wellbeing


Psychological resilience is measured here using the two-question Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC-2©) [19], a validated and widely-used tool for assessing resilience in the general population and in various healthcare settings [20]. The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale was developed as a brief measure of ‘bounce-back’ and adaptability or how well one is equipped to cope with stressful events, tragedy, or trauma [19,21,22]. This perspective of resilience emphasises an adaptive process whereby people can build their capacity to overcome adversity [23]. The availability of material resources and emotional support from both family and community is considered important [20]. Resilience has also been described as an individual’s capacity to adjust to adversity, as distinct from the process of recovery (i.e., recovery being a gradual return to baseline following an isolated adverse event) [6,24-26]. 

Respondents to the Canterbury Wellbeing Survey were asked to respond to two items, or questions, that make up the CD-RISC-2©. The first of these questions relates to the ability to adapt to change and the second to the ability to bounce back after illness or hardship. The CD-RISC 2© is scored out of a total of 8, with 0 being the lowest level of resilience and 8 being the highest level of resilience. Note that for copyright reasons the CD-RISC-2© questions and response breakdowns cannot be described in full.

This indicator presents the CD-RISC-2© mean score for greater Christchurch respondents. The scale was included in the Canterbury Wellbeing Survey for the first time in 2020.

The figure shows that the mean resilience scores of greater Christchurch, Christchurch City, Selwyn District, and Waimakariri District residents, as measured by the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, was 6.2, 6.2, 6.5, and 6.3 points, respectively, in 2020. None of the differences between scores are statistically significant. The CD-RISC-2© has not been used in any other population-based surveys of adults in New Zealand, therefore there is no New Zealand comparator for this indicator. However, a representative, population-based survey of adults in the USA found a mean score of 6.91 (SD 1.5) [19,22]. Different cultural understandings of resilience may need to be taken into account when comparing resilience scores across countries and/or ethnic groups [21].

The figure shows higher levels of resilience (as measured by the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale) for European respondents, compared with Māori and Pacific/Asian/Indian respondents, in 2020 (statistically significantly higher for Europeans compared with Pacific/Asian/Indian, with mean scores of 6.3 and 5.6, respectively). Māori respondents also had a statistically significantly higher mean score than Pacific/Asian/Indian respondents (6.1 and 5.6, respectively).

The figure shows a clear positive relationship between age and resilience (CD-RISC-2© mean scores), with resilience scores generally increasing with increasing age. The resilience scores of the three older age groups are each statistically significantly higher than the three lower three age groups (18-24 years, 5.8; 25-34 years, 6.0; 35-49 years, 6.1; 50-64 years, 6.5; 65-74 years, 6.6; and 75+ years, 6.5, in 2020).

The figure shows similar levels of resilience (CD-RISC-2© mean scores) for female and male respondents in greater Christchurch, in 2020 (6.2 and 6.3, respectively) and this difference is not statistically significant.

The figure shows a clear positive relationship between income and resilience (CD-RISC-2© mean scores), with mean resilience scores increasing with increasing annual household income. The mean scores of the three highest income groups shown are statistically significantly higher than the <$30,000 income group in 2020 (<$30,000 group mean score 5.8 compared with the $30,000-$60,000 group, 6.2; $60,001-$100,000 group 6.2; and $100,000+ group, 6.6). Respondents from the $100,000+ income group had statistically significantly higher mean resilience scores than all the other groups.

The figure shows lower levels of resilience (CD-RISC-2© mean scores) for respondents with a long-term health condition or disability, compared with those without, in 2020 (those with a long-term condition or disability and aged under 65 years, 5.1; those with disability and aged 65 years and over, 5.9; and those without disability, 6.4). Of note, the younger group with a long-term health condition or disability had lower mean resilience scores than those aged 65 and over with a long-term health condition or disability. The differences between the groups are statistically significant.

Data Sources

Source: Canterbury District Health Board.
Survey/data set: Canterbury Wellbeing Survey 2020. Access publicly available data from the Community and Public Health (Canterbury DHB) website
Source data frequency: Annually.

View technical notes and data tables for this indicator.

Updated: 29/06/2023