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      Nurturing hidden resilience in at-risk youth in different cultures.

      Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry = Journal de l'Académie canadienne de psychiatrie de l'enfant et de l'adolescent

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          While there has been growing interest in the concept of resilience, there has been little attention paid to the cultural and contextual factors that influence children's healthy growth and development under adversity. Using findings from the International Resilience Project, a study of over 1500 youth in 11 countries on five continents, it has been possible to show that there are both generic and culturally specific aspects to resilience. Fourteen communities were invited to participate based on the variability in the risks children face in each setting. A minimum of 60 youth in each community were administered the Child and Youth Resilience Measure. Qualitative interviews were also conducted with a subsample of youth. Both homogeneity and heterogeneity in the overall sample was demonstrated, with exploratory factor analyses suggesting at least four subgroups of youth distinguished by their status as Western or non-Western, boys or girls, and the degree of social cohesion of their communities. Qualitative data explains these differences as related to seven tensions experienced by youth developmentally. This work highlights the need for greater cultural and contextual sensitivity in how resilience is understood. Implications for practice with at-risk youth include the need to understand the contextual specificity of positive development under stress.

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