SAFER Training Programme (English)

Resilience Theoretical Background – Defining Resilience

Importantly, research relating to the risk factors associated with gender-based violence suggest that young students’ resilience may be an important modifiable factor which may help, on one hand, to mitigate the negative effects of gender-based violence when it occurs, as well as helping to prevent its perpetration (Foshee et al., 2016). Indeed, there has been growing interest in recent years in resilience as a means of fostering optimal child developmental outcomes (World Health Organization [WHO], 2018). Resilience can be thought of as the ability to bounce back from adversity and is essential to promoting the functioning and wellbeing of children, particularly those who have experienced adversity and/or trauma. Resilience has been defined as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy or even significant sources of stress” (American Psychological Association, 2014). Thus, resilience relates to be able to cope with challenging circumstances, achieving positive outcomes despite traumatic events and avoiding negative paths linked with exposure to environmental risks (Masten, 2014). An essential requirement of resilience is the presence of protective factors helping to promote positive outcomes or reduce negative outcomes (Fergus & Zimmerman, 2005). Resilience theory, therefore, is focused on strengths as opposed to deficits; it focuses on understanding healthy development and good outcomes in spite of exposure to risks.