Background and aims. Resilience encompasses factors promoting effective functioning in the context of adversity. Data regarding resilience in the wake of accidental trauma is still scarce. The aim of the current study is to comparatively assess adaptive, life – promoting factors in persons exposed to motor vehicle accidents (MVA) vs. persons exposed to other types of accidents, and to identify psychological factors of resilience and vulnerability in this context of trauma exposure.

Methods. We assessed 93 participants exposed to accidents out of 305 eligible patients from the Clinical Rehabilitation Hospital and Cluj County Emergency Hospital. The study used Reasons for Living Inventory (RFL) and Life Events Checklist. Scores were comparatively assessed for RFL items, RFL scale and subscales in participants exposed to motor vehicle accidents (MVA) vs. participants exposed to other life – threatening accidents.

Results. Participants exposed to MVA and those exposed to other accidents had significantly different scores in 7 RFL items. Scores were high in 4 out of 6 RFL subscales for both samples and in most items comprising these subscales, while in the other 2 subscales and in some items comprising them scores were low.

Conclusions. Low fear of death, physical suffering and social disapproval emerge as risk factors in persons exposed to life – threatening accidents. Love of life, courage in life and hope for the future are important resilience factors after exposure to various types of life – threatening accidents. Survival and active coping beliefs promote resilience especially after motor vehicle accidents. Coping with uncertainty are more likely to foster resilience after other types of life – threatening accidents. Attachment of the accident victim to family promotes resilience mostly after MVA, while perceived attachment of family members to the victim promotes resilience after other types of accidents. 



life – threatening accidents, risk, resilience, coping