More than two decades after Michael Rutter (1987) published his summary of protective processes associated with resilience, researchers continue to report definitional ambiguity in how to define and operationalize positive development under adversity. The problem has been partially the result of a dominant view of resilience as something individuals have, rather than as a process that families, schools,communities and governments facilitate. Because resilience is related to the presence of social risk factors, there is a need for an ecological interpretation of the construct that acknowledges the importance of people’s interactions with their environments. The Social Ecology of Resilience provides evidence for this ecological understanding of resilience in ways that help to resolve both definition and measurement problems.
About the Editor:
Michael Ungar, Ph.D. is the author of 9 books and more than 70 articles and book chapters. His works include The We Generation:Raising Socially Responsible Kids, Too Safe for Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive, Counseling in Challenging Contexts,and Strengths-based Counseling with At-risk Youth. He has practiced for over 25 years as a Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist with children and families in child welfare, mental health, educational and correctional settings. Now a University Research Professor, and Professor at the School of Social Work, at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, he leads an international team of resilience researchers that spans more than a dozen countries on six continents. In addition to his research and writing interests, Dr. Ungar maintains a small family therapy practice for troubled children, youth and their families.