Human resiliency increases in those who have encountered dramatic life events, fallen on hard times, or suffered from chronic pain, according to Mark Seery of the University at Buffalo in New York.
Seery and his colleagues studied a group of participants who have experienced challenges and obstacles throughout their lives and found out they were toughies.
"People who have been through difficult experiences have had an opportunity to develop their ability to cope and to learn how to get help from family and friends when they need it," Seery is reported as saying.
The findings appear in the December issue of the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science.
Seery and his team also researched those with severe back pain and said those participants were more ambulatory than those who did not have recurring discomfort.
None of the finding means parents should make life difficult for their children in an effort to give them a leg up into adulthood, Seery said.
"Negative events have negative effects," he said. "I really look at this as being a silver lining. Just because something bad has happened to someone doesn’t mean they're doomed to be damaged from that point on."