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Health Equity in Africa

A Cross-Country Network Analysis of Adolescent Resilience.

A Cross-Country Network Analysis of Adolescent Resilience.

Abstract

Purpose
In situations of adversity, young people draw on individual, relational, and contextual (community and cultural) resources to foster their resilience. Recent literature defines resilience as a capacity that is underpinned by a network of interrelated resources. Although empirical studies show evidence of the value of a network approach, little is known regarding how different country contexts influence which resources are most critical within a resource network and how resources interact for adolescent resilience.

Methods
Network analysis was conducted with data from studies that had used the Child and Youth Resilience Measure. Regularized partial correlation networks of 17 resources were estimated for 14 countries (Botswana, Canada, China, Colombia, Equatorial Guinea, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Romania, South Africa, and Syrian refugees living in Jordan). The sample size was 18,914 (mean age = 15.70 years, 48.8% female).

Results
We observed mostly positive associations between the resources of interest. The salience and strength of associations between resources varied by country. The most central resource across countries was having supportive caregivers during stressful times because this resource had the most and strongest positive associations with other resources.

Conclusions
This study gives first empirical evidence from multiple countries that an interplay of social–ecological resources (such as individual skills, peer, caregiver and community support, and educational aspirations and opportunities) matter for adolescent resilience. Across countries, caregiver support appears to be most central for adolescent resilience. Future resilience interventions might apply this network approach to identify important, contextually relevant resources that likely foster additional resources.

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