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Disaster Preparation and Recovery: Lessons from Research on Resilience in Human Development

General Material
Published Date
January, 2008
Publisher(s)

While this paper focuses on resilience in the face of disaster, it also provides a helpful overview of the resilience research literature. The authors build on four decades of theory and research on resilience in human development to offer lessons for planning disaster response and recovery, lessons that are also relevant for domestic violence survivors and their children. According to developmental theory, resilience can take multiple forms, including stress resistance, recovery, and positive transformation. Empirical findings suggest that fundamental adaptive systems play a key role in the resilience of young people facing diverse threats, including attachment, agency, intelligence, behavior regulation systems, and social interactions with family, peers, school, and community systems. Although human resilience research emphasizes the adaptive well-being of particular individuals, there are striking parallels in resilience theory across the developmental and ecological sciences.