Objective: To examine how adolescents recovered positive emotional affect during or after challenging experiences.
Methods: 50 youth (ages 12 to 20) from rural communities in southern Appalachia participated in semi-structured qualitative interviews, where they discussed key moments of their lives. Grounded theory analysis was used to code the interview transcripts.
Results: Six areas of recovering positive affect were identified, including relational, cognitive, faith, nature, downtime/indirect, and behavioral approaches. Relational approaches were mentioned the most (27 interviews), followed by cognitive (26), religion/spirituality-based (20), behavioral (12), indirect (6), and nature (3).
Conclusions: Youth used a variety of strategies to not just minimize distress but also re-attain positive emotions. This is an understudied aspect of resilience.