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Resiliency and Recovery

What is resilience?

“In the context of exposure to significant adversity, resilience is both the capacity of individuals to navigate their way to the psychological, social, cultural, and physical resources that sustain their well-being, and their capacity individually and collectively to negotiate for these resources to be provided in culturally meaningful ways.”

Resilience Research Centre. Retrieved from resilienceresearch.org (See also Ungar, 2008 and Ungar, 2011).

We selected this particular definition, because of its recognition that resilience requires individuals to have the capacity to find resources that support well-being, while also emphasizing that families, communities and governments play an important facilitation and support role.

Further to this, the Center on the Developing Child (Harvard Education) has identified a set of factors that help children achieve positive outcomes in the face of significant adversity. Factors include:

  1. Providing supportive adult-child relationships;
  2. Scaffolding learning so the child builds a sense of self-efficacy and control;
  3. Helping strengthen adaptive skills and self-regulatory capacities; and
  4. Using community, faith and cultural traditions as a foundation for hope and stability.

For more information, here’s a quick video discussing resilience:

In Brief: What is Resilience? (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University)


The Science of Resilience (InBrief), Center for the Developing Child (2015). Retrieved from www.developingchild.harvard.edu.