Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared
Annual Research Review: Resilience and child well-being – public policy implications
Article first published online: 14 DEC 2012
© 2013 The Author. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry © 2013 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Special Issue: Annual Research Review: Resilience in child development
Volume 54, Issue 4, pages 488–500, April 2013
How to Cite
Ager, A. (2013), Annual Research Review: Resilience and child well-being – public policy implications. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54: 488–500. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12030
- Issue published online: 20 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 14 DEC 2012
- Accepted for publication: 17 January 2012 Published online: 14 December 2012
- (complex adaptive) systems;
- knowledge transfer
Background: There has been an 8-fold increase in use of the term resilience within scientific and scholar literature over the last twenty years. The arena of public policy has also seen increasing use made of the concept, both with respect to child well-being and development and wider issues.
Method: A focal sample of literature comprising 108 papers addressing public policy implications of work on child resilience was identified by a structured bibliographic search.
Results: This literature suggests that current work: is characterized by a breadth of sectoral engagement across the fields of education, social work, and health; demonstrates diversity with regard to the systemic levels – individual (biological and psychological), communal (including systems of faith and cultural identity), institutional and societal – with which it engages; but is based more upon conceptual rather than empirical analysis. Major themes of policy recommendation target strengthened family dynamics, increased capacity for counseling and mental health services, supportive school environments, development of community programs, promotion of socioeconomic improvement and adoption of a more comprehensive conception of resilience. Evaluations of resiliency-informed policy initiatives are limited in number, with greatest rigor in design associated with more discrete programmatic interventions.
Conclusion: A number of strategies to strengthen research-policy linkages are identified. These include greater commitment to operationalize indicators of resilience at all levels of analysis; more coherent engagement with the policy making process through explicit knowledge translation initiatives; and developing complex adaptive systems models amenable to exploring policy scenarios.