Resilience is a process and opportunity, not something children have or don’t have

dogbod2019, blog

by Professor Ramona Alaggia Studying resilience with children and adults exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) has taken me on a journey that has resulted in a fundamental shift in how I do research, teach and counsel clients. This has been significant in my understanding of adversity, trauma and the profound role of resilience. When I initially encountered the term resilience I approached it with skepticism and questions. Was it a “feel good” term to minimize the fall-out from very big problems in people’s lives? Or a tool used by governments to scale back on service funding using platitudes like kids are resilient; they’ll be fine; they’ll bounce back – which has not been my experience with highly vulnerable children. Fostering resilience is a concerted effort that needs to be intentionally built into programming. Is resilience something people simply have or don’t have with very little in between? Up until recently, the research literature focused largely on individual characteristics for explaining why some people are more resilient than others. These identified characteristics are often related to personality traits – including intelligence, easy temperament, and extroversion for example – traits that appear from birth. Is resilience a state or a trait? … Read More