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Powerful streams. Exploring enabling factors for adolescent resilience to flooding

06 December 2012

PhD ceremony: Ms. C.W.J. de Milliano, 12.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Disertation: Powerful streams. Exploring enabling factors for adolescent resilience to flooding

Promotor(s): prof. J.H. de Wilde, prof. J. Herman

Faculty: Arts

Flooding is one of the most lethal disasters, annually affecting thousands of people worldwide. Adolescents in the Global South represent a large portion of those who endure, respond and need to adapt to the devastating consequences of flooding. Although they are vulnerable, they are not a homogenous group of passive victims. The main objective of this research is to explore how adolescent resilience to flooding is enabled and to study the extent to which these factors are generic or context specific. For this exploratory social research, adolescent resilience to flooding was studied in a global context, and Indonesia, Burkina Faso and Bolivia were used as instrumental cases within this collective study. Empirical data were gathered through adolescent-centred participatory rural appraisal activities, interviews, focus group discussions, unstructured (participant) observation, and a questionnaire. The findings show a high alternation between the protective function of internal (spiritual, behavioural, cognitive) and external (relational, societal, physical-environmental, and economic) factors. This indicates that resilience is multi-factorial and that adolescents manage flooding thanks to a heterogeneous set of factors which simultaneously provide a protective function. Regression analyses show that the amount of variance caused by context is not clear-cut and strongly depends on the resilience enabling factor. The research is concluded by underlining that when operationalizing resilience it is important to know when it makes sense to assume similarities and when to focus on differences. It is recommended that context be integrated into resilience analyses and interventions. This can widen the scope of understanding and allow policies and practice to be more effective, thus contributing to the creation of safe, habitable and resilient environments.

Last modified:13 March 2020 01.01 a.m.
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