There is a huge amount of research on resilience. It’s an evidence base that covers resilience in relation to human beings (especially children and families) as well as topics such as community resilience and a whole load of areas from disaster relief to sustainable plant life. But first off, what do we mean by ‘research’?
Defining research can be hard – much of what we’re doing in our resilience work can, according to some official definitions, be understood as research. For example, if we use the definition of the Higher Education Council for England we should be okay, because they’re the leading body which funds and regulates university research. They describe research as a process of investigation leading to new insights effectively shared.
So, according to this definition, all the resilience work we’re involved with is research. But we’ve included the detail elsewhere on the website under different sections, because most people won’t be familiar with this very broad definition, and therefore might not count what we’re doing as research.
Developing the Resilience Framework we first put together was our first big piece of research – we trawled through 1000s of books and articles to summarise the latest thinking on how best to promote resilience in, and with, children and families having a tricky time. Now we’ve got various research projects on the go!
Other people have constructed websites which cover resilience research in some detail, so we don’t see the point of repeating the information here. Lots of this work is about researching the ways in which resilient processes work and we have listed a few sources that we have found particularly interesting and helpful in the section on Other Resilience Research. But a word of warning – we have found that only a comparatively small amount of resilience research is concentrating on evaluating specific ways of trying to enhance resilience with those children, young people and families managing persistent difficulties and discrimination. So a gap exists!