Identity Authenticity and the Paradox of Resilience to Traumatic Stress



Research and statistics show that two-thirds of people manage to survive traumatic stress without serious or lasting mental health problems. This means that most people are resilient to traumatic stress but attempts to predict resilience based on individual personality traits are usually unsuccessful, and making accurate predictions about who will be resilient and who will not is difficult. The article considers three proposals for resolving this prognostic problem: first, abandoning consideration of stability as a personality trait in favor of stability as a process of flexible self-regulation; second, considering behavior in a model of non-linear interaction between personality and situation, postulating that human behavior is determined by personality trait parameters, situation characteristics and the outcome of their combination; and third, choosing determinants and correlates of stability, focusing on consideration of major personality traits, such as authenticity. The potential value of studying authenticity in the context of traumatic stress resilience is argued coherently: evidence for the high resource capacity of authenticity is presented; the subject concept of authenticity is proposed; similar studies from previous years are reviewed; trait authenticity and state authenticity are compared; the topic of authenticity in first responders is addressed.

General Information

Keywords: Authenticity; dispositional authenticity; subjective approach; resilience paradox; flexible self-regulation; the theory of flexibility sequence; traumatic stress; PTSD

Journal rubric: Clinical Psychology

Article type: review article


Funding. The research was supported by the Russian Science Foundation grant № 20-18-00262,

Received: 01.07.2023


For citation: Shmarina T.A. Identity Authenticity and the Paradox of Resilience to Traumatic Stress [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2023. Vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 74–82. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2023120307. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Tatiana A. Shmarina, Postgraduate Student, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, senior teacher and trainee researcher Department of Psychology, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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