Resilience pathways

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Resilience pathways in the AIFS library catalogue

Being healthy and ready to learn is linked with family and neighborhood characteristics for preschoolers

Moore K
Bethesda, MD : Child Trends, 2020.
"Because families are the first nurturers and educators of their children, it is helpful for policymakers and other stakeholders to understand how family characteristics, the activities in which families engage, and their neighborhood circumstances are associated with preschool children's health and readiness for learning. The analyses presented in this brief examine the associations between various family and neighborhood factors and the extent to which a child is reported to be healthy and ready to learn, using data from the 2017 and 2018 waves of the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) for children ages 3 to 5 [in the United States]. Key findings: Several key factors are consistently related to how healthy and ready to learn a preschool child is found to be, even when we take account of (statistically control for) social, economic, and demographic factors. [These are] Family characteristics and activities; The parent's physical and emotional well-being; The family's neighborhood."--Introduction.

The prevalence and protective factors for resilience in adolescent Aboriginal Australians living in urban areas : a cross-sectional study.

Young C, Craig J, Clapham K, Banks S and Williamson A
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health v. 43 no. 1 Feb 2019: 8-14
This article investigates resilience among Aboriginal young people living in urban settings in New South Wales. It examines levels of resilience and the factors that are associated with resilience during adolescence, drawing on data from 119 young people participating in the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH). The participants were assessed on social and emotional wellbeing, behaviour problems, and known protective factors such as knowledge of Aboriginal culture, family educational support, and satisfaction with recreation. The study found that most of these young people displayed resilience, and that resilience was associated with family encouragement to attend school, having someone to talk to about problems, and regular exercise or sport. However, 16% of the participants were at high risk of clinically significant behavioural and emotional problems.

Changing the odds for vulnerable children: building opportunities and resilience

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Paris : OECD Publishing, 2019.
This report outlines six key policy areas which, when taken in a coordinated and coherent way, increase the chances of childhood well-being and address risk factors of vulnerability. These policy areas aim to empower vulnerable families and improve parenting skills, boost children's emotional and social skills, make child protection services more child-centred and accessible and improve after-care services, increase children's educational success and improving early education quality, improve children's health including pre-natal care and nutrition, and reduce children's poverty and material deprivation and removing barriers for parental employment. First, the report looks into the individual, family and environmental factors that contribute to child vulnerability and the special considerations for children in vulnerable countries.

Psychosocial profiles of adolescents from dissolved families : differences in depressive symptoms in emerging adulthood.

Di Manno L, Macdonald J, Youssef G, Little K and Olsson C
Journal of Affective Disorders v. 241 Dec 2018: 325-337
This article explores why some children from separated families develop depression and others do not. Using data from the Australian Temperament Project (ATP) from Victoria, this article investigates the different inter-related risk and protective factors that may explain variations in susceptibility to depressive symptoms in adolescence and young adulthood. The study found that most of the young people from dissolved families were well-adjusted in adolescence and at age 19/20, and highlights the need for targeted interventions for at risk groups.

Rapid evidence assessment: characteristics and vulnerabilities of victims of online-facilitated child sexual abuse and exploitation

May-Chahal C and Palmer E
London : Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, 2018.
To assist their work in the United Kingdom, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has commissioned three studies into online-facilitated child sexual abuse. This report presents the findings of one study, which investigated children's characteristics, vulnerabilities, and resilience regarding online-facilitated child sexual abuse and exploitation. Literature from the United Kingdom and overseas is reviewed, and other topics include vulnerability profiles and typologies, the relationship between sexting and sexual extortion or solicitation, and transnational online child sexual abuse. This report highlights what conclusions can be drawn and identifies the gaps in the evidence. Particular risk factors that were identified include a history of child maltreatment, disability, social isolation, and participating in risky offline behaviours.

Building New Zealand's social capital: a family-by-family approach

Pandit A
Wellington, N.Z. : Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, 2018.
Deloitte's State of the State 2018 series explores issues in wellbeing and social investment in New Zealand, providing recommendations for a way forward. This article examines the role of social services in building social capital for families and explores systemic enhancements for those in need of additional support. Sections include: Social and human wellbeing in New Zealand; A snapshot of New Zealand families; Current models of social service delivery; A strategy to build resilience and wellbeing; Current models for integrated family supports; A strengthened family-by-family approach; and a Family-by-family model. Taking a family-by-family approach to social service provision enables services, that are otherwise siloed and selectively available, to be wrapped into more holistic wellbeing-focused outcomes.

Risk and protective factors in early childhood: an ecological perspective

Legge E
Subiaco, WA : CoLab, Telethon Kids Institute, 2018
"Early childhood development occurs within the context of multiple environments, with a vast range of factors in these environments exerting influence on different aspects of a child's development. This Evidence Report discusses the potential for the characteristics of these environments to increase the risk of a young child experiencing poor developmental outcomes or, alternatively, to enable protection from the impact of adversity. An Ecological Framework of Child Development is outlined, and the key factors influencing development in a child's immediate contexts are summarised, including: the prenatal environment, the family and home environment, and early childhood education and care. This Evidence Report then considers the influence of broader contexts on early childhood development including: neighbourhoods and communities, cultural and political systems, and process of development over time. Finally, we summarise the Ecological Approach to early childhood interventions."

Psychosocial resilience and vulnerability in Western Australian Aboriginal youth.

Hopkins K, Taylor C and Zubrick S
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 78 Apr 2018: 85-95
This article demonstrates the application of a person-based resilience framework for better understanding the factors that affect psychosocial functioning of Western Australian Aboriginal youth and thus providing insights for policy and practice. The framework incorporates the differential influence of individual, family, cultural, and community factors on psychosocial outcomes depending on family-risk context. The article draws on a synthesis of the authors' previous work utilising the 2000-2002 Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey (WAACHS). These studies found that prosocial friendship and living in a low socioeconomic neighbourhood uniquely protected psychosocial functioning, whereas exposure to racism was an additional risk factor for otherwise low-risk exposed youth.

Psychosocial factors associated with the mental health of indigenous children living in high income countries : a systematic review.

Young C, Hanson C, Craig J, Clapham K and Williamson A
International Journal for Equity in Health v. 16 23 Aug 2017: Article 153
Indigenous children have higher rates of mental health problems than their non-Indigenous counterparts, despite living in high-income countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. However, these Indigenous populations also share common histories of colonisation and cultural marginalisation. This article investigates further the psychosocial risk and protective factors for mental health in Indigenous children and young people, with a systematic review of the literature from 1996 to 2016. The findings highlight the many risk and protective factors that are shared across countries, and also those common for all children - Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

Longitudinal protective factors for problem gambling and related harms: building resilience among young adult gamblers

Scholes-Balog K and Dowling N
North Melbourne, Vic. : Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, 2017.
The research looked at the relationship between problem gambling in young people and symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the risk and protective factors for problem gambling. It draws on longitudinal data for 2,280 young adults aged 17-24 from Victoria, who were part of the International Youth Development Study (IYDS). The research was conducted in two parts. Part A examined the relationship between problem gambling and symptoms of anxiety and depression, and whether there are common factors that are protective against symptoms of anxiety and depression and problem gambling in young adulthood. Part B examined the prevalence of sub-groups with similar patterns of problem gambling behaviour over time, the risk and protective factors for different patterns of problem gambling, and the extent to which issues concerning mental health, substance use, employment and anti-social behaviour are associated with varying problem gambling behaviours. The research found that though stable neighbourhood and family concord were prospective predictors of anxiety and depression, none of the measured protective factors were found to be longitudinally associated with problem gambling, suggesting that among young people who are of legal age to gamble, the protective factors examined were poor predictors of problem gambling. It may be that risk processes for problem gambling occur earlier in adolescence, and so the role of protective factors may no longer be relevant or important in young adulthood.

The state of Logan's children and families: final report on child health and wellbeing in Logan, Queensland

Hogan D
Meadowbrook, Qld. : Logan Together, 2017.
Logan Together is a long term community development campaign to improve the wellbeing of children and their families in the disadvantaged city of Logan, Queensland. It involves a collaborative partnership of government agencies, service providers, and community representatives using a place-based collective impact framework. This report, the third in a series, is a descriptive statistical compendium of key indicators and social determinants of the health and wellbeing of children aged 0-8 in the Logan community. It maps children's health and wellbeing and associated risk and protective factors at a population level, models changes over time, identifies at-risk populations at the suburb level, identifies relationships between outcomes and risk and protective factors at a population level, develops a general theoretical account of the architecture and logic of disadvantage at a population level, and aims to support design and implementation of targeted, place-based, evidence-informed investments. Much data is taken from the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC).

Journeys of resilience: from adverse childhoods to achieving adulthood

Artemis Research NZ Ltd, SuPERU (New Zealand), New Zealand. Ministry of Social Development
Wellington N.Z. : Superu, 2017.
The New Zealand Government commissioned this project to understand how many at-risk families go on to achieve positive education and employment outcomes and the key factors that influence this success. Part one of the project draws on a recent analysis of linked administrative data by the Treasury which analysed the potential relationship between a range of risk factors - including a parent with a corrections history, spending most of one's childhood with a parent on a benefit, and a child abuse notification by age five - and outcomes in education and employment. Part two of the project draws on interviews with 49 people who had achieved positive education or employment outcomes despite experiencing adversity during their childhood. The report identifies the individual, interpersonal, and community factors that help people overcome adversity, highlights the importance of resilience, and briefly considers the implications for service providers and government policy. Resilience for Maori in the context of whanau is also discussed.

The state of Victoria's children 2015: tipping the scales for children's positive development

Victoria. Dept. of Education and Training
Melbourne : Dept. of Education and Training, 2016.
This annual report series provides an overview of how children are faring in Victoria, serving as an evidence base to support planning and policy development. This 2015 edition takes the theme of the balance between protective factors and risk factors in the lives of children and young people. It presents the latest data on: early learning and development, quality of early childhood education and care, student achievement and engagement, physical health, wellbeing and resilience, keeping children safe from harm, parenting capability and confidence, strong families, and formal and informal supports - examining how these factors interact to affect children and the family environment, and how this evidence can inform services that work to foster positive development.

Understanding research on risk and protective factors for intimate partner violence

Gulliver P and Fanslow J
Auckland, N.Z. : New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse, University of Auckland, 2016.
The likelihood of experiencing or perpetrating intimate partner violence is related to a complex interplay of a number of different variables, rather than a single factor such as alcohol use or poverty. This paper presents some of the conceptual models that have guided exploration of risk and protective factors and provides an understanding of the characteristics of the research that has led to the identification of these factors. It highlights the challenges involved with the measurement of risk and protective factors, counters misconception that there may be any one true cause of IPV, and underscores the need for a comprehensive, multi-pronged strategy to addressing IPV within New Zealand.

Resiliency among Australian school students : a report on 43,799 primary and secondary school students.

J-F, Fuller A, Swabey K, Pullen D, Waldrip B, Wicking A and Wicking P
AARE Conference 2015. Deakin, ACT : Australian Association for Research in Education, 2016: 14p
This paper presents findings from a nationwide survey of resilience among children and young people in Australia. The Resilience Survey was conducted between 2013 and 2015 across primary and secondary schools in Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania, with 43,799 children and young people aged from 7 to 18 years old participating. The survey looked at children and young people's strengths in terms of developmental assets, mental health, internal and external risk and protective factors, and their ability to cope with everyday pressures and stressors.

Child-centred disaster risk reduction : can disaster resilience programs reduce risk and increase the resilience of children and households?

Ronan K, Haynes K, Amri A, Towers B, Alisic E, Davie S, Ireland N and Petal M
Australian Journal of Emergency Management 1324 1540 v. 31 no. 3 Jul 2016: 49-58
This paper summarises developments on the role of child-centred disaster risk reduction and resilience. While research has increased in the past 15 years, there are significant research gaps, including those regarding the effectiveness of programs and their relatively patchy implementation. It focuses on how can we create, evaluate, implement and scale up CC-DRR programs that work over time, including during disasters and into adulthood, to reduce risk and increase resilience for children, youth, schools, households and communities.

The state of Victoria's children 2013-14: a report on resilience and vulnerability within Victoria's children and young people

Victoria. Dept. of Education and Training
Melbourne : Dept. of Education and Training, 2016.
This annual report series provides an overview of how children are faring in Victoria, serving as an evidence base to support planning and policy development. The 2013-14 report focuses on resilience, vulnerability and disadvantage in children, young people, and their families. It examines the prevalence of vulnerability, resilience, and disadvantage; summarises the key risk and protective factors that affect children and young people's development; considers critical periods such as early childhood and the transition to school; and reviews risk and protective factors within the family environment. The report also considers the role of universal and targeted services in supporting vulnerable children and families. Although the majority of Victoria's children and young people are doing well, a notable proportion face poorer outcomes than their peers - including Aboriginal children and young people, those who live in the most disadvantaged areas, and those involved with the child protection system or who live in out of home care. Note, that though these groups are more disproportionately affected, risk factors exist for all children and all families.

Childhood behavior problems and fighting in early adulthood : what factors are protective?

Vassallo S, Edwards B and Forrest W
Journal of Criminal Justice v. 45 Jun 2016: 85-93
The paper draws upon data from the Australian Temperament Project to examine factors that protected children with high externalizing problems at age 11-12 from engaging in fighting at ages 17-18 and 19-20.

Family dissolution and offspring depression and depressive symptoms : a systematic review of moderation effects.

Di Manno L, Macdonald J and Knight T
Journal of Affective Disorders v. 188 Dec 2015: 68-79
Though children from separated families face a higher risk of depression, many children will not experience this negative outcome - how do these children differ? This article reviews the international research literature to investigate what child or family characteristics or circumstances are associated with risk or resilience in children in separating families. The quality of the evidence is also assessed. Though further research is needed, the findings indicate that factors such as child age, gender, temperament, and IQ and maternal sensitivity play a role.

Evidence review: addressing the social determinants of inequities in mental wellbeing of children and adolescents

Welsh J, Ford L, Strazdins L and Friel S
Melbourne : VicHealth, 2015.
This report provides an overview of the social determinants of inequities in mental wellbeing in children and adolescents and successful approaches in how they can be addressed. It reviews the Australian and international evidence on the social gradient in mental wellbeing and common mental illness of children and adolescents, identifies best and promising practices and interventions, and identifies limitations and gaps in the evidence base. The findings are discussed in light of the VicHealth Framework for Health Equity - a health promotion tool which identifies three layers of influence on health: socioeconomic, political and cultural contexts; daily living conditions; and individual health-related factors. There is strong evidence that mental health is produced by a combination of individual factors and the condition in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These daily living conditions are generated by broader sociopolitical, socioeconomic and sociocultural environments, and produce unjust and avoidable inequities in health and wellbeing.

Epidemiological evidence relating to resilience and young people: a literature review

Tollit M, McDonald M, Borschmann R, Bennett K, Sabler M and Patton G
Melbourne : VicHealth, 2015.
The growing recognition of the impact of adversity on children and young people has led to a greater focus upon resilience. This literature review identifies the protective factors that contribute to the development of resilience among children, adolescents and young adults. It synthesises evidence from studies on the individual, family, peer, school, and community-level factors that help support children and young people facing a range of adversities, from bullying to mass shootings. This report is one of a series of literature reviews to help inform the VicHealth Mental Wellbeing Strategy 2015-2019.

Thriving in adversity: identification of off-diagonal South Australian communities using AEDC and NAPLAN data

Gregory T, Keech B, Sincovich A and Brinkman S
Adelaide, SA : Fraser Mustard Centre, 2015.
In communities with higher levels of socioeconomic disadvantage, children tend to have a higher level of developmental vulnerability and face more challenges at school. However, there are exceptions. This report looks at disadvantaged communities in South Australia whose children are doing better than expected. It identifies some possible explanations for their resilience and the lessons that may be transferrable to other communities. Eight disadvantaged communities were compared - 4 which were thriving desite adversity, 4 which were performing 'as expected' - drawing on data from the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) and Year 3 National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results.

Family resilience

SuPERU (New Zealand)
Wellington N.Z. : Superu, 2015.
What is it about some families that enables them to cope, and even thrive, with difficult situations? This paper reviews the concept of family resilience. It discusses risk and protective factors, family resilience in context, how family functioning and interactions contribute to resilience, and the relevance for policy and practice. Some American programmes that target family risk and protective factors are also described.

Better systems, better chances: a review of research and practice for prevention and early intervention

Fox S, Southwell A, Stafford N, Goodhue R, Jackson D and Smith C
Braddon, ACT : Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, 2015.
This rapid strategic literature review investigates the factors that promote positive child development and enable effective prevention and early intervention at a system-wide level. There is clear evidence that children's life chances are influenced by their families and communities and that they are able to be changed for the better. This review examines: Child development pathways and processes; The social and economic benefits of prevention and early intervention; Risk and protective factors for positive child development; Key pathways for intervention from antenatal through to adolescence; and System design elements that facilitate prevention and early intervention.

Understanding and combating school-based bullying from an individual-level perspective : a review

Hunt C
Australian Psychologist v. 50 no. 3 Jun 2015: 182-185
The majority of interventions for school-based bullying take a 'whole of school' approach, and research shows such interventions are successful in reducing rates of bullying. However, this commentary argues that a focus on individual factors, specifically those that are amenable to change, will add to these 'whole of school' effects. These individual factors - such as internalising symptoms, externalising behaviours, friendship quality, and self-esteem - can be targeted to build resilience and further reduce the incidence of bullying.

Multiple disadvantage and major life events.

Kikkawa D
Footprints in time - the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children : report from wave 5. Canberra, ACT : Dept. of Social Services, 2015. 9781925007732: 82-89
This feature article examines the relationship between the experience of major life events and children's social and emotional outcomes, comparing Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in Australia. Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) and the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC), it looks at the prevalence of major life events, the impact on children's social and emotional outcomes, the impact on primary carer's mental health, and changes over time. The findings indicate that the higher social and emotional difficulties scores experienced by Indigenous children do not arise from higher levels of disadvantage but from higher numbers of major life events. However, good mental health of the primary carer seems to be a protective factor for children, acting as a buffer for multiple major life events.

Influence of religion on intimate partner violence.

Ibrahim N
CDFVRe@der v. 12 no. 3 Dec 2014: 17-18
This article briefly describes the research on the influence of religious beliefs on attitudes towards intimate partner violence, including religion as a source of strength and its role as both a risk and protective factor.

Better lives for vulnerable teens: FACS review.

New South Wales. Dept. of Family and Community Services
Sydney, N.S.W. : NSW Dept. of Family and Community Services, 2014.
This study reviews the issues facing vulnerable young people in New South Wales, the factors which lead to high vulnerability trajectories, and the implications for the service sector and government policy. Though the majority of teenagers succeed in transitioning to independence, a small proportion of young people struggle and face the risk of instability and homelessness, disengagement from school, exclusion from services, multiple placements in out-of-home care, poverty, early parenthood, and repeated custody in juvenile justice. Their complex needs are not met by conventional services, and intervention programs are distributed across numerous departments, such as education, health, and justice. The Department of Family and Community Services has instigated this study as it comes in contact with many of these young people and is well-positioned to lead a collaborative response. The findings are published in 3 reports. Volume 1 summarises the aims of the review and outlines the case for change. Volume 2 examines risk and protective factors and systemic issues and opportunities. Volume 3 collates supplementary reference material.

Predictors of mental health competence in a population cohort of Australian children.

Goldfeld S, Kvalsvig A, Incledon E, O'Connor M and Mensah F
Journal of Epidemiology of Community Health v. 68 no. 5 2014: 431-437
Positive mental health - or mental health competence - is an independent outcome that cannot be inferred from the absence of problems. This article presents a new measure of mental health competence in children, and identifies predictors using data from the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI).

Strategies for scaling effective family-focused preventive interventions to promote children's cognitive, affective, and behavioral health : workshop summary

Patlak M
Washington, D.C. : The National Academies Press, 2014.
This report is the summary of a workshop convened by the Institute of Medicine's 'Forum on Promoting Children's Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health' to explore effective preventive interventions for youth that can modify risk and promote protective factors that are linked to mental, emotional, and behavioral health, and how to apply this existing knowledge. Based on the 2009 report 'Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders Among Young People', this report considers how to build a stronger research and practice base around the development and implementation of programs, practices, and policies that foster children's health and well-being across the country, while engaging multi-sectorial stakeholders.
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