PhD Graduate Kat Kolar on the Concept of Resilience

PhD graduate Kat Kolar published an article in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction that explores the theoretical concept of resilience and its role in social science research. Kolar outlines the concept’s history, its relationship with risk, and its application for research on the development of children and adolescents.

Kat Kolar obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2018. Her dissertation is titled Differentiating the Drug Normalization Framework: A Mixed Methods Investigation of Substance Use among Undergraduate Students in Canada. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at UBC researching the social integration of substance use and health inequities impacting people who use illicit drugs.

We have posted the citation and abstract from the article below. The full text is available through Research Gate here.

Kolar, Kat. 2011. “Resilience: Revisiting the Concept and its Utility for Social Research.” International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 9(4):421-433.

Researchers of resilience seek to understand why some people will recover from or avoid negative outcomes against the odds associated with exposure to particular adversities. Over the last two decades the concept of resilience has experienced “burgeoning interest” (Ungar, 2005, p. xvii). However, due to a lack of consistency in defining and measuring this theoretical construct within and across disciplines, the recent explosion of literature on resilience has contributed more to confusion than clarity among researchers and policy makers. In order to clarify the opportunities and pitfalls in store for future research, this paper provides an overview of the historical development of the resilience concept and the different approaches to resilience prominent today. It also addresses the relationship of resilience to the concept of risk. Since the majority of resilience research is concerned with the development of children and adolescents, this review is youth-oriented.

Read the full article here.