Resilience in children and young people with intellectual disabilities: a review of literature




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Purpose: Building the resilience of children with intellectual disabilities (ChID) can help reduce the personal, social and economic costs associated with mental ill health among such children. The aim of this paper is to review the research evidence on resilience in children with intellectual disabilities and to suggest areas for further research. Methodology: Journal articles published in the last 20 years were searched for in several on-line databases to find potential papers for this review. The inclusion criteria were to search for published journal articles covering the theme of resilience in children with intellectual disabilities and their families. All identified titles and abstracts were screened which resulted in 50 articles. These were scrutinised more thoroughly and 34 remaining articles were selected for review. Findings: Resilience is a dynamic process involving interactions between various risk and protective processes both internal and external to the individual that act to mediate the influences of adverse life events. Five key themes were identified within the literature which helped to form a picture of the current understanding of resilience among ChID and their careers. These were (1) increased risk factors associated with ID, (2) the role of personal attributes on resilience, (3) family and resilience, (4) schooling and resilience and (5) cultural factors which enhance resilience. Originality: Despite the consistency with which poor outcomes for ChID have been reported there is little investigation of the specific causes, contributory factors and processes that might improve them. This paper contributes to greater understanding of resilience factors for children and young people with ID and provides areas for further research


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


resilience, intellectual disabilities, children and young people, mental health


Raghavan, R. and Griffin, E. (2017) Resilience in children and young people with intellectual disabilities: a review of literature. Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabiliities, 11 (3), pp. 86-97


Research Institute

Institute of Health, Health Policy and Social Care
Mary Seacole Research Centre