The Pathways to Resilience Project includes both qualitative and quantitative methods. All youth referred to the study complete the Pathways to Resilience Youth Measure (PRYM). Two sub-samples of youth are then invited to continue their participation in the study. When youth who are between the ages of 13 and 15 we follow their progress for up to three years, seeing if their pattern of service use, the risks they face, and their resilience, changes. We meet with them annually, asking of them to complete the PRYM again each time. This longitudinal data helps us understand how service use patterns change as young people make the transition from child to young adult.

We also conduct very detailed one-on-one qualitative interviews that let a second sub-sample of young people tell us, in their own words, about the risks they face, resources available to them, their coping strategies and what’s helpful and unhelpful in their context.

When possible, and with the informed consent of participants, we review the service files of multiple service using youth in order to better understand the pathways they’ve traveled between services, and the full scope of all the services they have received from each provider. Using a grounded theory approach to data analysis, we look for common themes throughout the qualitative data.

Local researchers hold focus groups with young people, their caregivers, and service providers to help analyze the data and make recommendations for new policies and interventions.

Finally, we support the development of pilot initiatives that reach out to vulnerable youth, help coordinate services better, or connect youth to informal supports. Anything that fosters resilience, and is relevant to a local community, can be supported by the PTR. Our role as researchers is to help each community establish an intervention and then use our multiple research methods to set up program and evaluate it to see if it is helping.

Tools: What is the PRYM?

The PRYM comprises a collection of validated scales and explores young people’s resilience, the risks they face, the supports available to them and their service use patterns.

The measure takes approximately 50 minutes to complete and is ordinarily read through with the young person. The measure has also been designed for use with youth as young as nine years old, as well as an adult person who knows the youth well. All methods are designed to be adapted for use in local sites, ensuring cultural and contextual relevance.