Michael Ungar

Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience

Tier 1 - 2017-11-01
Dalhousie University
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council


Research involves

Developing theories about child, family and community resilience globally.

Research relevance

This research will identify the protective factors and processes that make it possible for children, families and communities to succeed across diverse contexts and cultures.

What Does Resilience Look Like Across Cultures and Contexts?

We know far more about what causes child, family and community dysfunction than we do about what helps them thrive during adverse conditions. Resilience research shifts our focus from what’s going wrong to the myriad ways in which people cope well with the resources they have.

By looking across cultures and contexts globally, we can discover unique pathways to resilience that can be nurtured. For example, children who have experienced abuse, families facing violence, and communities coping with disasters all show remarkable capacities to recover and grow despite tragedy. Dr. Michael Ungar, Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience, believes we can learn from them.

Ungar has spent more than a decade understanding the systemic factors that make success possible in even the harshest conditions—from individual qualities to family interactions and community supports.

By deepening our understanding of resilience and conducting research to inform both progressive social policies and front-line practice with vulnerable populations, Ungar and his research team are helping to identify and eradicate the risk factors that threaten well-being, such as community violence, social marginalization and childhood trauma.

They are also documenting the factors and processes that promote environments that support the optimal, socially just development of children, families and communities.