Cross-cultural investigation of resilience

Cross-cultural investigation of resilience

Resilience has become a key twenty-first century paradigm in research, practice and policy development concerning individuals’ mental health and wellbeing. Resilience is a process of person-context interaction where individuals navigate and negotiate their psychological, social, cultural and physical resources in order to improve their wellbeing and alter adversity. The existing literature addressing resilience is extensive; however, most of the studies have been conducted in European countries limiting the generalisability of models to Western cultures. Therefore, there is an emerging need to examine the applicability of resilience models to non-Western countries. Overcoming and challenging adversity conditions might require different practices in non-Western contexts.

The Resilience Framework, developed by Professor Angie Hart and colleagues in Brighton, is a strategic approach that promotes wellbeing by supporting its users to act tactically about where to direct their efforts when building resilience. This research will help to refine the internationally renowned Resilience Framework in the light of empirical evidence and contextual diversity. This will be accomplished through cross-cultural investigation of the generalizable versus context specific aspects of the Resilience Framework across Western (UK) and non-Western (Malaysia and Turkey) cultures using a Q-methodology. Q-methodology will help to evidence the Resilience Framework as a set of interventions and will produce a holistic picture of individuals’ resilience.

Project time-frame

This research project commenced in May 2015.

Project aims

The aims of this research project are to:

  • Investigate whether the Resilience Framework operates similarly or differently across diverse contexts determined by state/national boundaries.
  • Adapt the Resilience Framework for non-Western life orientations.
  • Develop an assessment tool for the RF that can provide both breadth and depth of resilience knowledge; that is available in multiple languages (English, Malaysian and Turkish).

Project findings and impact

The research project is ongoing and outputs, findings and impact will be updated in due course.

The Resilience Framework for Children & Young People has been translated into Turkish.

Project team

Suna Eryigit-Madzwamuse
Angie Hart

Project partners

Centre of Resilience for Social Justice, University of Brighton, UK
Boingboing, UK
Amalia Madihie, University of Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia
Salmah Mohamad Yusoff, University of Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia
Emel Teksoz, Mustafa Kemal University, Turkey
Rhian Adams, Newport Mind, Wales

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This evaluatioon project explores ways to build the capacity of school staff and the commitment of school leaders and other key stakeholders to help them identify and implement specific resilience-based actions using the Academic Resilience Approach.

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The Imagine Programme

The Imagine Programme brings together different research projects working across universities and their local communities. Using the new knowledge we gather, we are imagining how communities might be different. We are researching, and experimenting with different forms of community-building that ignite imagination about the future and help to build resilience.

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Our schools-based resilience research adapts the Resilience Framework for use in schools and helps schools make resilient moves across the whole school community via an Academic Resilience Approach. A number of schools – mainstream secondary, primary, special and a virtual school for looked after children – are working with us on this.

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The research project also involved a series of collaborative arts workshops in Brighton and Hove, with young people with moderate learning disabilities and young people facing mental health challenges. These workshops explored creativity and ideas of self and belonging.

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The project is evaluating the resilience Communities of Practice (CoPs). CoPs are one of the mechanisms we’re using to help practitioners, parents, students and academics learn about resilience and Resilient Therapy and put the ideas into practice.

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Collaborative arts workshops summer exhibition

Our Make Your Mark collaborative arts workshops culminated in a summer exhibition. Everybody was invited to join us in celebrating the young people’s art work at the Phoenix Brighton art gallery. You can see the young people exhibiting their work in our short film.

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