A non-experimental pilot study examined child, mother, and family outcomes of a 10-session multi-family group intervention designed to reduce risk and promote resilience for mothers with depression and their families. Positive changes following the Keeping Families Strong intervention included mother-reported decreases in child behavior and emotional problems, improvements in the quality of family interactions and routines, and improvements in their own well being and support from others. Children (9–16 years) reported decreased internalizing symptoms, improved coping, increased maternal warmth and acceptance, and decreased stressful family events. Attendance and mother-reported satisfaction were high, indicating the perceived value of the intervention.
adult mental health; child and adolescent mental health; depression; multiple family approaches; outcome research
Using a prospective longitudinal design this study investigated factors associated with resilience in 20-year old offspring of depressed mothers (n=648). Resilient youth were operationally defined as those whose mothers were depressed, but who themselves had no history of recurrent depression, and currently evidenced adequate academic/work and romantic functioning, no Axis I psychopathology, and no clinically significant internalizing behavior problems. Low levels of perceived maternal psychological control (p=.02), and high child IQ (p<.01) acted as protective factors in the context of maternal depression. Low paternal psychological control (p=.02), high maternal warmth (p<.01), high self esteem (p<.01), and healthy peer social functioning (p<.01) all acted as resource factors predicting high functioning outcomes for young adults, regardless of mother depression status. Notably, high child IQ acted as a protective factor predicting resilient outcomes that persisted from adolescence to adulthood (p<.01), and low maternal psychological control acted as a protective factor predicting resilient outcomes that emerged in early adulthood (p=.03). Interventions focused on these two protective factors might yield the strongest benefits for offspring of depressed mothers as they transition to early adulthood.
maternal depression; resilience; young adulthood
In this multi-level investigation, resilience in adaptive functioning among maltreated and nonmaltreated low-income children (N = 677) was examined in relation to the regulation of two stress-responsive adrenal steroid hormones, cortisol and dehydroepiandosterone (DHEA), as well as the personality constructs of ego resiliency and ego control. Maltreatment status was not related to differences in average levels of morning or afternoon cortisol or DHEA. However, lower morning cortisol was related to higher resilient functioning, but only in nonmaltreated children. In contrast, among physically abused children, high morning cortisol was related to higher resilient functioning. Morning and afternoon DHEA was negatively related to resilient functioning. Although diurnal change in cortisol was not related to resilience, for DHEA, maltreated children with high resilience showed an atypical rise in DHEA from morning to afternoon. Morning and afternoon cortisol/DHEA ratios were positively related to resilient functioning, but did not interact with maltreatment status. Ego resiliency and ego control strongly differentiated maltreated and nonmaltreated children, and the personality variables were substantially predictive of resilience. When considered together, demonstrated effects of personality, cortisol, and DHEA maintained independent contributions in predicting resilience among high-risk youth.
Whereas child personality, IQ, and family factors have been identified as enabling a resilient response to psychosocial adversity, more direct biological resilience factors have been less well delineated. This is particularly so for child ADHD, which has received less attention from a resilience perspective than have associated externalizing disorders. Children from two independent samples were classified as resilient if they avoided developing ADHD, ODD, or CD in the face of family adversity. Two protective factors were examined for their potential relevance to prefrontal brain development: neuropsychological response inhibition, as assessed by the Stop task, and a composite catecholamine genotype risk score. Resilient children were characterized in both samples by more effective response inhibition, although the effect in the second sample was very small. Genotype was measured in Sample 1, and a composite high risk genotype index was developed by summing presence of risk across markers on three genes expressed in prefrontal cortex: dopamine transporter, dopamine D4 receptor, and noradrenergic alpha 2 receptor. Genotype was a reliable resilience indicator against development of ADHD and CD, but not ODD, in the face of psychosocial adversity. Results illustrate potential neurobiological protective factors related to development of prefrontal cortex that may enable children to avoid developing ADHD and CD in the presence of psychosocial adversity.
The authors examined factors associated with nutritional resilience/vulnerability among preschoolers in the Gaza Strip in 2007, where political violence and deprivation are widespread.
This cross-sectional study was carried out in 2007 using random sampling of kindergartens in order to select 350 preschoolers. Binary logistic regression was used to compare resilient (adequate nutrition) and vulnerable (stunted) groups with those with moderate nutrition.
Approximately 37% of the subjects demonstrated nutritional resilience and 15% were vulnerable. Factors associated with nutritional resilience were child younger age, normal birth weight, actively hand- or spoon-feeding when the child was below two years, and residential stability in the past two years. The only factor associated with nutritional vulnerability was lower total score on the mother's General Health Questionnaire, which we interpret as a marker of maternal mental health.
Children with low-birth weight and older children had worse nutritional resiliency outcomes. Further, poorer outcomes for children were associated with lower maternal mental health status, as well as increased family residential instability. Our results add to the large literature on the pervasive effects of violence and instability on children and underscore the need for resources for early intervention and for the urgent resolution of the Palestinian and other armed conflicts.
A longitudinal study was conducted on the psychological well-being of 81 young children (mean age = 8.8 years) living with mothers with AIDS or HIV-infected mothers with symptomatic disease. The relationship between mothers’ physical health and children’s psychological well-being was investigated. The children were assessed at seven time points over approximately 6 years. Individual growth models were estimated for children’s depression, anxiety, and aggressiveness in relation to: mothers’ viral load (medical records) and physical functioning, number of HIV-related physical symptoms, and medical visits due to illness (self-report). Results showed significant linear declines in children’s depression, anxiety, and aggressiveness over time. Lower levels of physical functioning and more physical symptoms among mothers were associated with higher levels of children’s depression, anxiety, and aggressiveness at baseline. Lower levels of physical functioning and more physical symptoms among mothers were associated with initially high but more rapidly decreasing levels of depression among children. However, mothers who began the study in better health appear to have changed in health more quickly than mothers who began the study in poorer health. Thus, stability in mothers’ health appears to be associated with a more rapid improvement in children’s mental health over time. Our findings suggest that the measures representing observable levels of, and changes in, mothers’ health that are most likely to be directly experienced by themselves and their children are the measures that are most predictive of changes in children’s mental health over time.
HIV/AIDS; mother health/child psychological well-being
Early-life stress (ELS) has a long-lasting effect on affective function and may entail an increased risk for major depressive disorder (MDD). However, resilience can play a protective role against developing psychopathology. In this study, we investigated the relationships of depressive symptoms with ELS and resilience in MDD.
Materials and Methods
Twenty-six patients with MDD as well as age- and gender-matched healthy controls were included in this study. Each subject was assessed concerning ELS, resilience, and depressive symptom severity with self-report questionnaires. Independent samples t-test and Mann-Whitney test were performed to compare ELS and resilience between the patient and control groups. Spearman correlation analyses and linear regression analysis were conducted to investigate significant ELS and resilience factors associated with depressive symptoms.
In the MDD patient group, subjects reported greater exposure to inter-parental violence, and five factor scores on the resilience scale were significantly lower in comparison to the control group. In linear regression analysis, in regards to resilience, depressive symptom score was significantly associated with self-confidence and self-control factors; however, ELS demonstrated no significant association with depressive symptoms.
Among resilience factors, self-confidence and self-control may ameliorate depressive symptoms in MDD. ELS, including inter-parental violence, physical abuse and emotional abuse, might be a risk factor for developing depression. Assessment of early-life stress and intervention programs for increasing resilience capacity would be helpful in treating MDD.
Resilience; self-confidence; self-control; inter-parental violence; depressive disorder
Latino pregnant and parenting adolescents living in inner cities are one of the populations at risk for acquiring HIV. Although teen parenthood has been predominantly looked at with a focus on potential adverse physical, emotional, and socioeconomic outcomes for the mother and child; a growing body of literature has documented the strengths and resiliency of young parents. Respeto/Proteger: Respecting and Protecting Our Relationships is a culturally rooted couple-focused and asset-based HIV prevention program developed for young Latino parents. In this program, parental protectiveness (defined as the parent-child emotional attachment that positively influences parental behavior) is viewed as an intrinsic and developing critical factor that supports resiliency and motivates behavioral change. The primary purpose of this article is to describe the longitudinal randomized study evaluating the effect of this intervention on unprotected vaginal sex 6 months post intervention and to determine whether parental protectiveness had a moderating effect on the intervention. The unique features of our database allow for examination of both individual and couple outcomes.
Recent studies on homeless adolescents suggest that the profiles of homeless adolescents are heterogeneous, and that certain clusters of homeless adolescents demonstrated resiliency and positive coping strategies. This study examined the relationship between HIV-related risk factors and resiliency (survival skills) of homeless adolescents over a 2-year period. Those who did not engage in unprotected sex reported significantly higher survival skills scores. Similarly, those who were monogamous during the study period reported significantly higher survival skills scores. However, there was a significant decline in survival skills scores after 6 months, regardless of the HIV-related risk factors. Findings from this study point to the urgent need to identify and target resilient adolescents early on to provide interventions to facilitate the transition to stable living situations before their resiliency deteriorates.
homeless adolescents; resiliency; survival skills
Resilience has been most frequently defined as positive adaptation despite adversity. Over the past 40 years, resilience research has gone through several stages. From an initial focus on the invulnerable or invincible child, psychologists began to recognize that much of what seems to promote resilience originates outside of the individual. This led to a search for resilience factors at the individual, family, community — and, most recently, cultural — levels. In addition to the effects that community and culture have on resilience in individuals, there is growing interest in resilience as a feature of entire communities and cultural groups. Contemporary researchers have found that resilience factors vary in different risk contexts and this has contributed to the notion that resilience is a process. In order to characterize the resilience process in a particular context, it is necessary to identify and measure the risk involved and, in this regard, perceived discrimination and historical trauma are part of the context in many Aboriginal communities. Researchers also seek to understand how particular protective factors interact with risk factors and with other protective factors to support relative resistance. For this purpose they have developed resilience models of three main types: “compensatory,” “protective,” and “challenge” models. Two additional concepts are resilient reintegration, in which a confrontation with adversity leads individuals to a new level of growth, and the notion endorsed by some Aboriginal educators that resilience is an innate quality that needs only to be properly awakened.
The review suggests five areas for future research with an emphasis on youth: 1) studies to improve understanding of what makes some Aboriginal youth respond positively to risk and adversity and others not; 2) case studies providing empirical confirmation of the theory of resilient reintegration among Aboriginal youth; 3) more comparative studies on the role of culture as a resource for resilience; 4) studies to improve understanding of how Aboriginal youth, especially urban youth, who do not live in self-governed communities with strong cultural continuity can be helped to become, or remain, resilient; and 5) greater involvement of Aboriginal researchers who can bring a nonlinear world view to resilience research.
PMID: 20963184 CAMSID: cams387
Parenting stresses have consistently been found to be higher in parents of children with intellectual disabilities (ID); yet, some families are able to be resilient and thrive in the face of these challenges. Despite the considerable research on stress in families of ID, there is still little known about the stability and compensatory factors associated with everyday parenting stresses.
Trajectories of daily parenting stress were studied for both mothers and fathers of children with ID across child ages 36–60 months, as were specific familial risk and resilience factors that affect these trajectories, including psychological well-being of each parent, marital adjustment and positive parent–child relationships.
Mothers’ daily parenting stress significantly increased over time, while fathers’ daily parenting stress remained more constant. Decreases in mothers’ daily parenting stress trajectory were associated with both mother and father’s well-being and perceived marital adjustment, as well as a positive father–child relationship. However, decreases in fathers’ daily parenting stress trajectory were only affected by mother’s well-being and both parents’ perceived marital adjustment.
Parenting stress processes are not shared entirely across the preschool period in parents of children with ID. Although individual parent characteristics and high-quality dyadic relationships contribute to emerging resilience in parents of children with ID, parents also affect each others’ more resilient adaptations in ways that have not been previously considered.
fathers; intellectual disability; mothers; parenting stress; resilience
This paper examines the concept of resilience in the context of children affected by armed conflict. Resilience has been frequently viewed as a unique quality of certain ‘invulnerable’ children. In contrast, this paper argues that a number of protective processes contribute to resilient mental health outcomes in children when considered through the lens of the child's social ecology. While available research has made important contributions to understanding risk factors for negative mental health consequences of war-related violence and loss, the focus on trauma alone has resulted in inadequate attention to factors associated with resilient mental health outcomes. This paper presents key studies in the literature that address the interplay between risk and protective processes in the mental health of war-affected children from an ecological, developmental perspective. It suggests that further research on war-affected children should pay particular attention to coping and meaning making at the individual level; the role of attachment relationships, caregiver health, resources and connection in the family, and social support available in peer and extended social networks. Cultural and community influences such as attitudes towards mental health and healing as well as the meaning given to the experience of war itself are also important aspects of the larger social ecology.
Numerous researchers studied risk factors associated with smoking uptake, however, few examined protective factors associated with smoking resilience. This study therefore aims to explore determinants of smoking resilience among young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who are at risk of smoking.
Overall, 92 out of 92 vocational education students accepted invitation to participate in this exploratory study. The Adelaide Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Arts campus was chosen for the study given the focus on studying resilience in young people of lower socioeconomic status i.e. resilient despite the odds. A self-report questionnaire comprising a measure of resilience: sense of coherence, sense of humour, coping styles, depression, anxiety and stress, and family, peers and community support, was distributed among participants aged 15 to 29. Additional factors researched are parental approval and disapproval, course type, and reasons for not smoking. Using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS, version 13.0), analyses were undertaken using frequencies, means, standard deviations, independent sample t-tests, correlations, analysis of variance, logistic regression, and chi-square test.
Twenty five (27%) out of 92 students smoked. Young people with peer support tended to smoke (p < .05). A relationship between daily smoking and depression, anxiety and stress was also found (p < .05). When both mothers and fathers disapproved of their children smoking, it had a greater influence on females not smoking, compared with males. The majority of students chose 'health and fitness' as a reason for not smoking. Students in the Dance course tended to not smoke.
The current study showed that most students chose 'health and fitness' as the reason for not smoking. Single anti-smoking messages cannot be generalised to all young people, but should recognise that people within different contexts, groups and subcultures will have different reasons for choosing whether or not to smoke. Future studies should use larger samples with a mixed methods design (quantitative and qualitative).
This study used a longitudinal design to investigate the buffering role of resilience on worsening HbA1c and self-care behaviours in the face of rising diabetes-related distress.
A total of 111 patients with diabetes completed surveys and had their glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) assessed at baseline and 1-year follow-up. Resilience was defined by a factor score of self-esteem, self-efficacy, self-mastery, and optimism. Diabetes-related distress and self-care behaviours were also assessed.
Baseline resilience, diabetes-related distress, and their interaction predicted physical health (HbA1c) at 1-year. Patients with low, moderate, and high resilience were identified. Those with low or moderate resilience levels showed a strong association between rising distress and worsening HbA1c across time (r=.57, .56, respectively). However, those with high resilience scores did not show the same associations (r=.08). Low resilience was also associated with fewer self-care behaviours when faced with increasing distress (r= −.55). These correlation coefficients remained significant after controlling for starting points.
In patients with diabetes, resilience resources predicted future HbA1c and buffered worsening HbA1c and self-care behaviours in the face of rising distress levels.
Based on the unique longitudinal data of the elderly aged 65+ with a sufficiently large sub-sample of the oldest-old aged 85+ from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, we construct a resilience scale with 7 indicators for the Chinese elderly, based on the framework of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale. Cox proportional hazards regression model estimates show that, after controlling for socio-demographic characteristics and initial health status, the total resilience score and most factors of the resilience scale are significantly associated with reduced mortality risk among the young-old and oldest-old. Although the causal mechanisms remain to be investigated, effective measures to promote resilience are likely to have a positive effect on longevity of the elderly in China.
Children who are physically maltreated are at risk of a range of adverse outcomes in childhood and adulthood, but some children who are maltreated manage to function well despite their history of adversity. Which individual, family, and neighborhood characteristics distinguish resilient from non-resilient maltreated children? Do children’s individual strengths promote resilience even when children are exposed to multiple family and neighborhood stressors (cumulative stressors model)?
Data were from the Environmental Risk Longitudinal Study which describes a nationally-representative sample of 1,116 twin pairs and their families. Families were home-visited when the twins were 5 and 7 years old, and teachers provided information about children’s behavior at school. Interviewers rated the likelihood that children had been maltreated based on mothers’ reports of harm to the child and child welfare involvement with the family. Results: Resilient children were those who engaged in normative levels of antisocial behavior despite having been maltreated. Boys (but not girls) who had above-average intelligence and whose parents had relatively few symptoms of antisocial personality were more likely to be resilient versus non-resilient to maltreatment. Children whose parents had substance use problems and who lived in relatively high crime neighborhoods that were low on social cohesion and informal social control were less likely to be resilient versus non-resilient to maltreatment. Consistent with a cumulative stressors model of children’s adaptation, individual strengths distinguished resilient from non-resilient children under conditions of low, but not high, family and neighborhood stress.
These findings suggest that for children residing in multi-problem families, personal resources may not be sufficient to promote their adaptive functioning.
Resilient maltreated children; Non-resilient maltreated children; Cumulative stressors model
In this study of 360 low-income mother-child dyads, our primary goal was to disentangle risks linked with commonly co-occurring maternal diagnoses: substance abuse and affective/anxiety disorders. Variable- and person-based analyses suggest that, at least through children’s early adolescence, maternal drug use is no more inimical for them than is maternal depression. A second goal was to illuminate vulnerability and protective processes linked with mothers’ everyday functioning, and results showed that negative parenting behaviors were linked with multiple adverse child outcomes. Conversely, the other parenting dimensions showed more domain specificity; parenting stress was linked with children’s lifetime diagnoses, and limit setting and closeness with children’s externalizing problems and everyday competence, respectively. Results are discussed in terms of implications for resilience theory, interventions, and social policy.
Previous studies of the long-term effects of maternal postpartum depression (PPD) on child development have mostly focused on a limited set of outcomes, and have often not controlled for risk factors associated with maternal depression. The present study compared children of postpartum depressed mothers (n = 29) with children from a community sample (n = 113) in terms of a broad range of developmental outcomes in the early school period. Controlling for risk factors associated with maternal depression, we found that children of postpartum depressed mothers had lower ego-resiliency, lower peer social competence, and lower school adjustment than the community sample children. In addition, girls of postpartum depressed mothers showed lower verbal intelligence, and, unexpectedly, showed fewer externalizing problems than their counterparts in the community sample. Results show that children’s capacities to deal with stress and interact with peers in the early school period may be particularly affected by their mothers’ PPD.
Maternal depression; Postpartum depression; Early school age; Child development
Homeless children show significant developmental delays across major domains of adaptation, yet research on protective processes that may contribute to resilient adaptation in this highly disadvantaged group of children is extremely rare. This study examined the role of effortful control for adaption in 58 homeless children, ages 5-6, during their transition to school. Effortful control skills were assessed using children's performance on four standard executive functioning tasks. Adaptive functioning was assessed by teacher report of academic competence, peer competence, and internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Variable-focused and person-focused results indicate that effortful control may be an important marker of school readiness and resilience. Controlling for child IQ, parenting quality, and socio-demographic risks, effortful control emerged as the most significant predictor of all four salient developmental domains of adaptation as well as of resilient status of homeless children. Implications of these findings are discussed for future research and design of interventions.
homeless children; effortful control; executive functioning; adaptation; risk; resilience
The adolescent children of depressed mothers are at increased risk for depression, but little is known about protective factors for these children. Maintenance of positive affect in a stressful context may be an important marker of resilience. Mothers with (n = 34) and without (n = 38) a history of depression and their adolescent children completed questionnaires regarding adolescents' coping and depressive symptoms and engaged in a 15 min videotaped interaction about family stress. Adolescents' observed behaviors were coded using the Iowa Family Interaction Rating Scales. No significant differences emerged in observed behavior between adolescents of mothers with and without a history of depression. Higher levels of primary and secondary control coping and lower levels of disengagement coping were related to higher levels of observed positive mood and fewer depressive symptoms in adolescents. Observed positive mood was related to fewer depressive symptoms in adolescents, even after accounting for maternal history of depression and current maternal depressive symptoms. Results suggest the importance of considering positive affect in the context of family stress as a marker of resilience in adolescents at risk for depression. The current study provides evidence for coping as a protective factor, related to higher levels of positive affect and fewer depressive symptoms, in adolescents exposed to maternal depressive symptoms.
Coping; Depression; Resilience; Parenting; Protective factors
Purpose: Adults aging with HIV/AIDS can experience resilience in spite of the deleterious affects of the disease. This study seeks to examine the lived experiences of older adults with HIV/AIDS as it relates to strengths and resilience in dealing with this devastating disease. Design and methods: Semistructured in-depth interviews were conducted with 25 adults, 50 years and older, living with HIV/AIDS. The interview transcripts were analyzed using constant comparative methodology following the tenets of adaptive theory. Results: The majority of informants expressed experiences of resilience and strengths as related to living with HIV/AIDS. Seven major themes emerged from the analysis including self-acceptance, optimism, will to live, generativity, self-management, relational living, and independence. Implications: The research identified the importance of strengths and resilience among older adults living with HIV/AIDS. Further research is needed to explore these phenomena with larger samples. Practitioners should identify and implement methods for assessing resilience among older HIV-infected adults.
HIV/AIDS; Older Adults; Strengths Perspective; Resilience
Injection drug users and female sex workers are two of the populations most at risk for becoming infected with HIV in countries with concentrated epidemics. Many of the adults who fall into these categories are also parents, but little is known about the vulnerabilities faced by their children, their children's sources of resilience, or programmes providing services to these often fragile families. This review synthesizes evidence from disparate sources describing the vulnerabilities and resilience of the children of female sex workers and drug users, and documents some models of care that have been put in place to assist them.
A large literature assessing the vulnerability and resilience of children of drug users and alcoholics in developed countries was found. Research on the situation of the children of sex workers is extremely limited. Children of drug users and sex workers can face unique risks, stigma and discrimination, but both child vulnerability and resilience are associated in the drug use literature with the physical and mental health of parents and family context. Family-centred interventions have been implemented in low- and middle-income contexts, but they tend to be small, piecemeal and struggling to meet demand; they are poorly documented, and most have not been formally evaluated. We present preliminary descriptive data from an organization working with pregnant and new mothers who are drug users in Ukraine and from an organization providing services to sex workers and their families in Zambia.
Because parents' drug use or sex work is often illegal and hidden, identifying their children can be difficult and may increase children's vulnerability and marginalization. Researchers and service providers, therefore, need to proceed with caution when attempting to reach these populations, but documentation and evaluation of current programmes should be prioritized.
Socioeconomically disadvantaged mothers are at high risk of obesity, yet the aetiology of obesity in this group remains poorly understood. The aim of this study was to examine the perceived personal, social and physical environmental factors associated with resilience to obesity among mothers from socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
Survey data were provided by a cohort of 1840 women aged 18-46 years with dependent children (aged 0-18 years) from 40 urban and 40 rural socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods across Victoria, Australia. Mothers responded to a number of questions relating to personal, social and environmental influences on their physical activity and eating habits. Mothers' weight status was classified as healthy weight (BMI: 18.5-24.99), overweight (BMI: 25-29.99) or obese (BMI: 30+).
Mothers' weight status was bivariably associated with factors from all three domains (personal, social and physical environmental). In a multivariable model, mothers' perceived ability to make time for healthy eating (OR = 1.34) and physical activity (OR = 1.11) despite family commitments, and the frequency with which families ate healthy low-fat foods with mothers (OR = 1.28) remained significantly positively associated with healthy weight status. The frequency with which families encouraged eating healthy low-fat foods remained negatively associated (OR = 0.81) with weight status; ie greater encouragement was associated with less healthy weight status.
Drawing on the characteristics of mothers resilient to obesity might assist in developing intervention strategies to help other mothers in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods to manage their weight. Such strategies might focus on planning for and prioritising time for healthy eating and physical activity behaviours, and including family members in and encouraging family mealtimes.
A mother's mental illness may have a profound effect on her child's development, including an increased risk of the child developing the same disorder. From a developmental psychopathology perspective, offspring provide an opportunity to examine pathways to disorder versus resilience. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a severe disorder diagnosed in early adulthood involving stormy relationships, an unstable sense of identity, and self-destructive behavior. Interestingly, the domains of dysfunction are conceptually similar to developmental tasks in early childhood reworked in adolescence: attachment, self development, and self-regulation. Early deviation may increase the risk for later disorder. There are five empirical studies of children whose mothers have BPD, two conducted from a developmental perspective. This article proposes a theoretical framework and an innovative methodology with which to extend this research, and suggests an intervention to bring development back on track if necessary.
developmental psychopathology; borderline personality disorder; attachment; representations; infancy; toddler period; preschool period; adolescence
While there has been growing interest in the concept of resilience, there has been little attention paid to the cultural and contextual factors that influence children’s healthy growth and development under adversity. Using findings from the International Resilience Project, a study of over 1500 youth in 11 countries on five continents, it has been possible to show that there are both generic and culturally specific aspects to resilience.
Fourteen communities were invited to participate based on the variability in the risks children face in each setting. A minimum of 60 youth in each community were administered the Child and Youth Resilience Measure. Qualitative interviews were also conducted with a subsample of youth.
Both homogeneity and heterogeneity in the overall sample was demonstrated, with exploratory factor analyses suggesting at least four subgroups of youth distinguished by their status as Western or non-Western, boys or girls, and the degree of social cohesion of their communities. Qualitative data explains these differences as related to seven tensions experienced by youth developmentally.
This work highlights the need for greater cultural and contextual sensitivity in how resilience is understood. Implications for practice with at-risk youth include the need to understand the contextual specificity of positive development under stress.
at-risk youth; cultural differences; resilience; adolescents à risques; différences culturelles; résistance à l’adversité