The Social Ecology of Resilience

A Handbook of Theory and Practice

  • Michael Ungar

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Michael Ungar
    Pages 1-9
  3. Introduction to the Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Lewis P. Lipsitt, Jack Demick
      Pages 43-52
    3. Piotr Trzesniak, Renata M. C. Libório, Silvia H. Koller
      Pages 53-65
  4. Five Interviews

  5. The Individual (in Context)

  6. The Family

  7. The School

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 245-245
    2. Dorothy Bottrell, Derrick Armstrong
      Pages 247-264
    3. Linda C. Theron, Petra Engelbrecht
      Pages 265-280
    4. Neerja Sharma, Rekha Sharma Sen
      Pages 281-295
    5. Nan Henderson
      Pages 297-306
  8. The Community

  9. Culture

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 367-367
    2. Catherine Panter-Brick, Mark Eggerman
      Pages 369-386
    3. Peter Berliner, Line Natascha Larsen, Elena de Casas Soberón
      Pages 387-397
    4. Laurence J. Kirmayer, Stéphane Dandeneau, Elizabeth Marshall, Morgan Kahentonni Phillips, Karla Jessen Williamson
      Pages 399-414
    5. Katrina D. Hopkins, Catherine L. Taylor, Heather D’Antoine, Stephen R. Zubrick
      Pages 425-440
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 441-463

About this book


In a time of increasing exposure to personal psychological stress, as well as war, natural disasters, and economic upheaval, positive development under adversity—resilience—is meriting wider and deeper study. Despite this attention and over four decades’ worth of robust literature, resilience remains difficult to define and even harder to measure.

Taking the view that resilience is a process to be developed and nurtured rather than a hard-wired capacity of the individual, The Social Ecology of Resilience explains how interactions with school, family, community, and culture can provide ingredients for positive development. Case studies representing international and cross-disciplinary perspectives (e.g., Aboriginal youth in Australia, refugees in Sudan, and gay teens in the U.S.) demonstrate resilience across cultures and the lifespan. And interviews with healers and activists who have themselves survived trauma reveal resilience as a set of processes that can be both learned and taught.

Featured in the coverage:

  • Causal pathways and how social ecologies influence resilience.
  • Situating resilience in developmental contexts.
  • Fostering recovery, sustainability, and growth in traumatized communities.
  • Resources that promote resilient parenting.
  • Children with disabilities and the supportive school.
  • Indigenous perspectives on resilience.

The up-to-date data and real-world viewpoints in The Social Ecology of Resilience will be of great interest to those working with this elusive concept, including social workers, psychologists, students and professors in family relations, and researchers in social policy.

Editors and affiliations

  • Michael Ungar
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social WorkDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

Bibliographic information