This report is the third volume in the Ministry of Social Development’s new research series Raising Children in New Zealand. The series was established as a means of disseminating the results from the Ministry’s “Family Dynamics/Family Effectiveness” work programme, which has been funded out of the Cross-departmental Research Pool administered by the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology. This work programme has been primarily aimed at the goal of increasing understanding of factors that contribute to good children’s outcomes, with a particular focus on family characteristics and processes that operate within families.
The report – commissioned from Ariel Kalil of the University of Chicago – is focused on the issue of family resilience. The central question in this field of enquiry is why it is that some families manage to cope well when facing stress or confronted with a crisis, while other families in similar circumstances fail to do so. The report draws on a wide range of literature to examine how the concept of family resilience has been defined and applied by scholars in this field and to document the research findings about how family resilience manifests itself.