142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

A systematic cross-disciplinary review of resilience at the individual, organizational, and community levels: Developing a framework for public health

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 10:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH , Community Health & Prevention, Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
William Koulisis , Drexel School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA
Community resilience has been defined as the community’s ability to positively adapt in the face of significant adversity. Just as individuals are able to demonstrate resilience in the face of challenges or threats, so can communities. Public health has grown to care about community resilience because positive community climates have been shown to contribute to significant health advantages. Methods: We conducted a systematic, cross-disciplinary literature review using structured search criteria. In phase two, we recruited residents and community leaders from two historically disadvantaged West Philadelphia neighborhoods to ground truth the theories, frameworks, and measures identified in the review. Results: The literature review revealed a growing number of community resilience articles in the past decade, with a significant number of relevant publications in the fields of psychology, public health, sociology, political science, urban planning, and environmental sciences. Results demonstrated a lack of a consensus on the definition and level at which community resilience is operationalized (e.g., individual, family, neighborhood, town/city). Focus group results included discussion that community resilience in the scientific literature is too focused on returning a community to its “status quo” after a single, traumatic, negative event. Instead it should be developed from within a community and defined by continual improvement in the face of chronic stressors. Conclusions: Community resilience is a salient and relevant construct in public health. Efforts to apply it to community health need to understand its historical, theoretical, and empirical background, as well as, most importantly, the residents’ own experience and perceptions of community resilience.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the history and cross-disciplinary theoretical frameworks of community resilience as applied to health and healthy neighborhood environments. Understand how studies have measured community resilience - particularly in the face of disadvantage, adversity, trauma, and unhealthy neighborhood environments - and how it has related to health outcomes. Discuss the importance of community resident and leader experiences and perspectives in the development and application of community resilience frameworks to strengthen community life and improve health.

Keyword(s): Community Development, Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the Principal Investigator of this project, and it is relevant to my expertise and field of research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.