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Mechanisms to Enhance Resilience and Post-traumatic Growth in Residential Care: a Narrative Review

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Sarah Parry
  • Nigel Cox
  • Panoraia Andriopoulou
  • Jeremy Oldfieild
  • Shabana Roscoe
  • Jasmin Palumbo-Haswell
  • Scarlett Collins
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/03/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Adversity and Resilience Science
Issue number1
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)1-21
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date24/09/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Residential care is primarily considered most appropriate for young people with complex needs, often due to multi-type
traumas. Children in care are disproportionately disadvantaged, with children in residential care most vulnerable, which is
why it is so important to understand mechanisms that support resilience and post-traumatic growth for this group of young
people. This review aimed to advance our understanding of how interventions, refections upon experience, and constructs
of resilience can enhance developing resilience in children’s homes for young people in care. International quantitative and
qualitative studies were sought to identify features and mechanisms of care that underpin developing resilience. Following a
systematic search of six databases, 25 papers were selected for review, with a total sample of 3198 individuals up to the age
of 30 years old who were either receiving residential care (N=3037) or who were care leavers (N=161). Themes from the
quantitative studies and a narrative synthesis of qualitative studies were developed. Therapeutic mechanisms and processes
to support the development of resilience included experiencing love and trust with staf in homes through therapeutic relationships, nurturing self-compassion, promoting self-value and self-belief, positive future thinking, problem-focused coping,
school engagement, constructing a positive origin story, and positive visualisations of a stable future. Measures of resilience
could more accurately refect post-traumatic growth and potential for resilience development for this unique group of young
people, which in turn could inform intervention design and evaluation. Measures appreciative of intrapersonal, relational,
community and environmental factors could be particularly useful for intervention design.