Development and persistence of human capability
and resilience in their social and geographical context
Welcome to the web pages for this ESRC funded research network.
From here you can find out about the projects within the network,
the people involved and the results from our studies.
An introduction to the network
The aim of the network is to contribute to policy by improving
the scientific understanding of the socio-economic, biological and
psychological circumstances that contribute to human capability
and resilience over the life course.
There are six component projects, all focused on human resilience
and capability, but each with a different approach and field of
study. The projects share a common definition of, and perspective
on resilience. We define resilience as showing positive adjustment
despite being exposed to adversity. Positive adjustment may involve
a variety of capabilities, for example, cognitive, behavioural,
health-related, motivations and temperamental. For the purposes
of these projects 'adversity' can be due to psychological, biological,
social and economic influences.
A policy-based model provided the intellectual framework within
which all projects are located and by which they are all integrally
linked -- we have adapted Whitehead’s “Rainbow”
model. It has always been too complex a model to be tested in a
single project, its questions are better addressed through a network.
The scientific objectives of the network are as follows:
- How are human capability and resilience developed and fostered
by relationships within families and households? (Projects 1 and
- What are the contributions of neighbourhood and locality characteristics
and participation in the community? (Projects 1, 2 , 3 and 5)
- How are capability and resilience influenced by education,
training and relationships at work? (Projects 3, 5 and 6)
- How do earlier life relationships and experiences contribute
to resilience in the face of illness, ageing and social adversity
at later phases of the life course? (Projects 1, 2, 3 and 4)
- How can public services contribute to maintaining and increasing
human capability and resilience? (Especially projects 2, 5 and
- Why arrange these projects in a network? The research network
offers us various advantages in working together and co-ordinating
our research. These include
- Common concepts, orientation and methods
- Information exchange
- Sharing of expertise
- Planning project dissemination
- Co-ordination between projects and users
The network is able to support two vital components at a level
which individual projects cannot sustain; training and user-engagement.
By holding training workshops and using a 'skill-exchange' between
the projects, the network will contribute to capacity for high quality
social research with Britain. By having a network-level focus on
user-engagement and dissemination, we hope to have a much greater
impact with our results. The network will produce and offer non-specialist
briefing papers and access to workshops for users for example.
The network is co-ordinated by Professor Mel Bartley from the Department
of Epidemiology at UCL.
This page last modified
30 November, 2007