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Rethinking resilience in families of children with disabilities: a socioecological approach

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This paper explores resilience in families of children with disabilities in the Province of Alberta, Canada. Utilizing Ungar's social ecology of resilience, we present an analysis of 78 responsive interviews drawn from a three-year multimethod study. We show that families who reported doing well were able to conduct their lives with a ‘business as usual’ approach to their daily lives, in contrast to families who were struggling and had reported that disability had overtaken their day-to-day routines and activities. Exploring factors that led to these experiences, we show the importance of social context in understanding family ‘well-doing’ in families with disability. The policy and program implications of our findings are discussed.
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Keywords: disability; families; familles; infirmité; qualitatif; qualitative; resilience; résilience; social ecology; écologie sociale

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Human Ecology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada 2: Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Publication date: July 3, 2014

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