Alfred Deakin Institute
The Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI) is a leading humanities and social sciences research institute based at Deakin University, Australia. Our researchers aim to understand the complex meanings of citizenship, social inclusion and globalisation, and investigate the imp


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Nurturing Young People’s Resilience to Build Social Cohesion and Community

  • Deakin Downtown Level 12, Tower 2, 727 Collins Street Docklands Australia (map)

Resilience is not just a young person’s capacity to overcome adversity. It is also the result of how well individuals, their families and communities work together to help those who are vulnerable navigate their way to the resources they need for wellbeing, and whether those resources are available in ways that young people experience as meaningful. In this presentation, Dr. Ungar will use examples from his clinical practice and research collaborations on six continents to explore the factors that contribute to the resilience of refugee and immigrant youth as well as young people who experience social exclusion. His work suggests the need for an ecological, culturally sensitive interpretation of what resilience means to youth and young adults who must cope with social and political unrest, marginalization and racism. His work challenges us to think about resilience as something nurtured by schools, families and communities rather than an intrinsic quality of individual youth. With stories from young people around the world, Dr. Ungar will show how seven factors associated with resilience make it more likely young people will do well when they experience major disruptions to their lives. Dr. Ungar will discuss each of these factors along with strategies individuals and social institutions can use to make resilience-promoting resources more available and accessible, including an innovative measure that assesses youth resilience to violent extremism.


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Dr. Michael Ungar is the founder and Director of the Resilience Research Centre and Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. He received his PhD in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1995 and is the former Chair of the Nova Scotia Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, executive board member of the American Family Therapy Academy, and a family therapist who works with mental health services for individuals and families at risk. With over ten million dollars in funding over the past decade, Dr. Ungar’s international program of research has changed the way resilience is understood, shifting the focus from individual traits to the interactions between young people and their families, schools, workplaces, and communities. He is the author of 15 books that have been translated into five languages, numerous manuals for parents, educators, and employers, as well as more than 170 scientific papers and book chapters. His blog Nurturing Resilience appears on Psychology Today’s website.

Light refreshments provided

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