Resilience can lead to positive developmental and psychological wellbeing in young adults. It leads to successful life achievements, including in education and work, and it can decrease involvement in activities which cause harm. Although many researchers have varying definitions of what ‘resilience’ is, it is easier to see the effects of it in the presence of adversity.
Many previous studies have looked at the relationship between resilience in young people and positive development. However there aren’t many studies, especially in the Australian context, that try to work out how resilience is constructed, or what contextual, cultural and global factors contribute to developing resilient behaviour in young people.
Types of issues investigated
We know that young people in the west participate in a number of activities outside of school – for example, sports clubs, or creative pursuits. How do these activities aid or hinder resilience building? Where, apart from in schools, do young people find mentors and resources to access positive outcomes for themselves – in terms of wellbeing, education and achievement?
We also conduct work with the Department of Education and Training to see what factors within school help to build resilience and point students towards positive outcomes.
Part of the Building Resilience investigation involves longitudinal data collection on students within schools in western Melbourne about resilience factors and how these change over time.
This research will contribute to the growing international data about at-risk and disadvantaged youth and pathways to positive outcomes. This project will also provide important information about local communities’ most vulnerable young people.