The Resilience Research Centre // rrc@dal.ca // +1 902 494 3050

What is Resilience?

Most commonly, the term resilience has come to mean an individual's ability to overcome adversity and continue his or her normal development. However, the RRC uses a more ecological and culturally sensitive definition. Dr. Michael Ungar, Co-Director of the RRC, has suggested that resilience is better understood as follows:

“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.” (See also Ungar, 2008 and Ungar, 2011)

What is Resilience Research?

Resilience research involving children, youth and families looks at the health-enhancing capacities, individual, family and community resources, and developmental pathways of vulnerable children and youth, who against all odds, manage not only to survive unhealthy environments, but thrive. The Resilience Research Centre supports both quantitative and qualitative research, with an emphasis on mixed methods designs that favour understanding resilience as a culturally and contextually embedded construct.

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