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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 390450, 9 pages
Review Article

Resilience as a Positive Youth Development Construct: A Conceptual Review

Department of Applied Social Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Received 15 September 2011; Accepted 4 October 2011

Academic Editor: Joav Merrick

Copyright © 2012 Tak Yan Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The concept of resilience is reviewed from a range of disciplinary perspectives in this paper. Both broad and narrow definitions of resilience are highlighted and a working definition of resilience is proposed to inform research, policy and practice. Different psychological, social and ecological protective factors, particularly competence, optimism, and bonding to family and cultural beliefs are highlighted. Theoretical relationships between resilience and positive youth development are examined with an attempt to erase misunderstandings. Finally, how schools can promote resilience among students is discussed.