YOUTH RESILIENCE: SOCIO-ECONOMIC, RELATIONAL, AND PERSONAL FACTORS
Abstract Resilience has been studied from different perspectives, including models that are person-focused, multi-level, or ecological. However, resilience scholars have mainly focused on personal factors in the Western, middle class and more economically established populations. In a number of countries, such as Canada, a number of scholars have studied youth resilience in marginalized and Indigenous communities. However, more research needs to be conducted on youth resilience in other non-Western and marginalized communities, paying more attention to cultural and environmental resources in addition to personal factors. In fact, there is a need to study youth resilience from youth’s perspectives in these communities to draw on the complexity of communities’ cultures and youth experiences of inequalities. In the marginalized (underdeveloped) areas of Tehran, the quality of housing is poor, the rate of unemployment is high, and addiction and violence are prevalent. Due to the high rate of unemployment, many families are dependent on their youth for survival. These youth work and live in dangerous areas, such as landfills, resulting in a number of deaths. Despite these difficulties, youth in marginalized areas continue to contribute to their communities in healthy ways. In other words, they are resilient. My research used participatory art-based methods and post-colonial frameworks to understand how Tehran’s marginalized youth define resilience from their perspective. It explains the meaning of resilience and identifies the individual, relational, and socio-economic factors that support or hinder youth resilience from the perspective of Tehran’s marginalized youth. From the youths’ perspective, factors that influence their resilience include relationships with their family, friends, and community-based organizations; socio-economic status; and personal factors, such as hope. The most critical factor was the youth’s relationships with family and how this is shaped by socio-economic contexts. The key implication of this research is that personal and relational factors that influence marginalized youth resilience are impacted by social structural and political inequalities. Accordingly, social inequalities must change, with more resources provided to marginalized communities to promote youth resilience, rather than changing individuals.
Youth resilience, Marginalization, Anti-Oppressive
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)