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Define resilience


Resilience is the process of avoiding

adverse outcomes or doing better
than expected when confronted with
major assaults on the developmental
process (Luthar et al., 2000).

Resilience is the ability to adapt in

the face of adversity
• Several different types of resilience have been identified:

• 1. Overcoming the odds, where positive outcomes are

attained, despite high risk status. For example a
premature baby is considered to be at high risk because of
an association with poor health outcomes.

• 2. Sustained competence under stress, where an individual

copes well despite being in an environment where stress
and conflict is high.

• 3. Recovery from trauma: resilience observed as occurring

where an individual functions well after experiencing
severe trauma such as war, severe violence or a natural
Defining Resilience
• Amongst children who experience adverse
circumstances some may go on to develop mental
health problems and criminality, whereas many
more do not.
• One explanation for these differences may be
found in the concept of ‘resilience’
• Resilience is the ability to become personally and
professionally successful despite severe adversity
Defining Resilience
Resilience refers to the:
– process of, capacity for, or outcome of successful
adaptation despite challenging or threatening
– path a family follows as it adapts and prospers in the
face of stress
– capacity to cultivate strengths to positively meet the
challenges of life
– ability to bounce back from adversity
– capacity to rebound from adversity strengthened and
more resourceful
Defining Resilience
• Whether a child will have a positive or negative
outcome depends on the number of risk factors
present and the number of protective factors.

• Therefore resilience in a child is most likely a result

of reduced risk factors and a high number of
protective factors.
Defining Resilience
• Risk factors do not invariably lead to negative
outcomes but increase the probability of problems
later in life.
• Research shows that it less significant which risk factors
are present, but how many are present in the life of a
Defining Resilience
• The following crises are all examples of types of
risk factors that can undermine a child’s mental
health and interfere with learning :
– Family problems (parent conflict, family breakdown)
– school problems / peer rejection / social isolation
– health issues
– poverty
– criminal family background / violence
– belonging to a minority group
Defining Resilience
Kauai Longitudinal Study (Werner & Smith, 1998)
• It involved a multi-racial cohort of 698 children, born in 1955 who
were studied at 6 intervals between the ages of 1 and 40.

• 30% had experienced a cluster of risk factors - of this 30% two-

thirds of the children had experienced four or more risk factors.

• In this group they discovered serious learning or behaviour

problems at age 8, and delinquency, mental health problems and
teenage pregnancy at age 18.
Defining Resilience
Kauai Longitudinal Study (Werner & Smith, 1998)
•The researchers identified the following risk factors
– poverty
– low maternal education
– family conflict and breakdown
– parental desertion
– parental alcoholism
– parental mental illness
Defining Resilience
Kauai Longitudinal Study (Werner & Smith,
• However, one-third of this group did not show any negative
outcomes. These children had developed into competent,
confident and caring adults who succeeded in their school,
home and social lives.
Defining Resilience
Kauai Longitudinal Study (Werner & Smith, 1998)
•Werner & Smith identified some of the following protective factors
– easy temperament,
– at least average intelligence,
– close attachments,
– positive attention,
– three or fewer siblings
– religious faith.
Approaches to resilience research

• Focus is on both risk factors

in and protective factors.
• What is the difference?
• Example: Risk (absence of)
or Protective (presence of)
early relationships with
caregivers - these
relationships provide the
foundations for developing
secure attachments, feelings
of self-worth, and
regulations of emotions.

Define resilience
Wright and Masten (2006)
• claimed that resilience should
not be seen as an individual
• Individual resilience must be
studied in the context of
adversity and risk in relation
to multiple contextual factors
that interact (e.g. family,
school, neighborhood,
community, and culture) with
individual factors (e.g. the
child’s temperament,
intelligence, and health).

Define resilience
Schoon and Bartley (2008)
• We should examine the
factors and processes that
enable individuals to beat
the odds instead of focusing
on “adaptive functioning of
the individual”. (Why?)
• could lead to the
misunderstanding that
resilience is a matter of
personality traits and that
everyone can make it if they
try hard enough.

Define resilience
Schoon and Bartley (2008)
• Such a dispositional
approach can lead to
blaming the victim of
adverse circumstances.
Instead, there should be
a focus on how to
promote resilience by
removing obstacles and
creating opportunities.

Define resilience
Discuss strategies to build
• Resilience programs
typically target the
promotion of protective
factors such as parenting
skills, academic tutoring
(e.g. reading skills), training
of social skills, and self-
• It has been found that early
interventions have better
long-term results than
programs introduced later
in life.

Discuss strategies to build resilience

The New York Centre for Children noted in 2004 that
872 000 children were abused or neglected in
America. They also stated that 81% of all deaths
from child abuse comprised those of infants and

They propose the following strategies for building

resilience and preventing further abuse:
• Home-visit programmes – Such programmes have been
shown to be effective in reducing child abuse
particularly in low-income families. They serve a
practical purpose in increasing access to healthcare
and also provide a psychological boost, lowering rates
of maternal depression and thus enhancing the
formation of attachment between mother and baby.
• Teen-mother parent education – Britner and Reppucci
(1997) found groups for adolescent mothers were
effective in providing peer support and reducing
social isolation and depression. The programme also
involved the extended family in the baby’s care
providing a wider social support network for new
• Head Start and Early Head Start programmes – Love
et al. (2005) found parents who participated in Early
Head Start programmes became more emotionally
supportive, better at stimulating language
development, and used less corporal punishment.

• After-school programmes in all high-risk communities

– Mahoney et al. (2005) carried out a longitudinal
study of the effect of after-school programmes on
the development of academic performance and
motivation for disadvantaged children.
• They found participants who participated in a full
year’s after-school programme achieved better test
scores, reading achievement, and over all motivation.
The Triple P – Positive Parenting
• The Triple P is based on
social learning principles.
• Its goal is to target
behavioral, emotional,
and developmental
problems in children aged
0–16 years, through
enhancing the knowledge,
skills, and confidence of
Discuss strategies to build resilience
The Triple P – Positive Parenting
• Triple P – Positive Parenting Program is one of the
world’s most effective, used in 20+ countries,
helped over 6 million children, over 30 yrs
research, created “Families” (1995 NZ TV prog)
and in the UK “Driving Mum and Dad Mad” (2005).
• Developed by Prof Sanders and colleagues at UQ
Brisbane, Australia
• It includes short, video-based programs, group-
based interventions and individual counselling for
a range of different children.
Discuss strategies to build resilience
The Triple P – Positive Parenting
• Sanders et al. (2002)
found that this program
was effective in reducing
children’s disruptive
• A number of randomized
controlled trials show
success in promoting
US_About_Triple_P.pdf effective parenting and
children’s prosocial
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WlyIKHN behavior through The
Triple P.

Discuss strategies to build resilience

Triple P

The Triple P programme is flexible and can adapt to the needs of the clients eg provide
culturally appropriate characters eg Maori and Pacific Island as well as Caucasian in NZ
series and also a programme for Deaf parents and there are also different programmes
for children and for adolescents:
Second strategy
• Focus on improving the child’s coping skills:

childhood provides a useful slide on Perry Preschool and Headstart
Perry Preschool Project
HighScope Perry Preschool method & results:
Developed by David P. Weikart along with several of
his colleagues for use in HighScope Perry Preschool.
Started in the October of 1962 Perry Preschool
Project based on Piaget's intellectual development
theory High/Scope Daily Routine (Schweinhart,
2003). Early childhood professionals could use more
of the "Plan-Do-Review" method in classrooms
Focuses on and nurtures the child's strengths,
interests and abilities. Used worldwide in different
settings including day care, play groups, nursery and
primary schools. Main belief of allowing children to
construct their own learning through interacting
with different people, materials and ideas.
88% females from the programme graduated high school v 46% control
At age 40: 70% program males were employed cf. 50% of non-program
At age 27: 27% owned own home cf. 5% of non-prog.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS)
mentoring program
• This is a resilience-based
mentoring program for
high-risk children and
adolescents in the USA.
• The program is based on
the idea that social support
from a caring adult to a
high-risk child or
adolescent can promote a
healthy development in
spite of environmental risk
Discuss strategies to build resilience
Tierney et al. (1985)
• studied the impact of
mentoring on the
behavior of 959 high-
risk children and
adolescents, aged 10–
16, from low-income
• Many had experienced
family violence or
substance abuse.
Discuss strategies to build resilience
Tierney et al. (1985)
• Half of them were assigned
a mentor and half of them
acted as control.
• The researchers were
interested in the outcome
of mentoring on factors
such as antisocial behavior,
academic performance,
relationships with family
members and friends, and

Discuss strategies to build resilience

Tierney et al. (1985)
• The results showed a
positive outcome if the
adult provided a caring
relationship and had
positive expectations.
• The program did not
target any specific
problem behavior but
was merely investigating
whether social support
from an adult could
promote resilience.

Discuss strategies to build resilience

• Write a brief summary of the
key benefits of each strategy…