Fostering Resilience among Children in Difficult Life Circumstances

Source: CorStone

Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. It means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences. (APA Health Center, 2004). “Resilience” thus refers to the concept that even in situations of multiple risks to an individual’s development, there are certain qualities within the individual or his/her environment that allow him/her to deal with these risks and thrive in spite of them. (Engle et al.,1996:9) Some children from poor family backgrounds are resilient — that is, they behave better and score higher on intelligence tests than might be expected given the level of social and economic deprivation they have experienced (Kim-Cohen et al., 2004). Bostock (2004) states that resilience refers to the qualities that cushion a vulnerable child from the worst effects of adversity and that may help a “child or young person to cope, survive and even thrive in the face of great hurt and disadvantage”.

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