Foster Resilience

How can we foster resilience in young people so that they are prepared to cope and adapt in the face of adversity?

This section of YouThrive provides a “map” of the many factors that foster young people’s resilience. We also map the strategies you can use to nurture and strengthen their resilience. The Resilience map summarizes key findings from a body of evidence that has grown over the past 25 years. Much of the evidence comes from research with youth who are thriving in spite of adversity such as social exclusion, poverty, and violence. You can use this evidence to identify what is already working well for youth in your community. You can also use it to change the things that are not working well.

The Resilience map has three parts:

  1. The outer ring represents the broader physical, economic, social, and historical factors that set the stage for young people’s experiences and their resilience. These factors are greatly influenced by stigma and discrimination. Opportunities to talk about these factors and to try to change them can be empowering and healing for youth.
  2. The inner ring includes eight groups of factors in young people’s daily lives that affect and shape their resilience.
  3. The centre of the map represents the young person and the tools they need to be resilient.

Keep in mind: There are no precise formulas for fostering resilience. Some young people will thrive with very few positive factors, while others with many positive factors will still struggle. In fact, two young people may go through the same experiences and yet have different levels of resilience. Personal traits, such as temperament and physical health, play a role. The key to using the Resilience map is not to look for what is missing but rather at what is already working well and to support youth to build on those strengths.

The Resilience map is inspired by Lyn Worsley’s The Resilience Doughnut.

Visit the Toolbox tools for resources on resilience.

Documents sourced in this section can be found here