What is Resilience?

Resilience is the capacity to withstand difficulties or quickly recover from crises. Crises like the Covid-19 pandemic test the resilience of individuals, families, communities and societies.

We all have the capacity for resilience. How easily we’re able to access it is much more than a matter of individual strengths. Research on what makes children, young people and adults resilient shows that how easily we’re able to access our resilience is much more than a matter of having the right mindset, or toughing it out on our own.

In our training program and research, we use a definition of resilience that Michael Ungar and his research group in Halifax, Canada have been working on for over a decade to improve how resilience research is put into action.

Resilience depends on much more than individual strengths. How we withstand difficulties depends to a great extent on our environment, and on the social connections that can promote or complicate healthy development under stress.

Their work shows how important the environment, or our social ecology is: Our culture, our friendships, the spaces we visit, the activities we enjoy doing, and institutions like school and work make up our social ecology and play an important role for how we withstand difficulties.

Along with helpful personal attributes (for example motivation and self-efficacy), resilience comes into play when we manage to utilize resources in our environment. Many different things can be resources. For example relationships with people who support and inspire us. Or spaces that give us a sense of belonging and security. The chance to get an education and access to family-friendly, secure employment can also be resources. This highlights that resilience is not merely a personal trait, and that the environment and community we live in play a vital role. 

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Dienstag, 26. September 18:30

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