Culture, Resilience, and Health

‘Culture’ is one of the most understudied dimensions of resilience as a pathway to health.  Our program examines resilience across cultures, integrating qualitative and quantitative research to connect the dots between cultural values, socio-political structures, family-level resilience, and individual health outcomes. Research projects in Afghanistan, Jordan, and Sierra Leone focus specifically on family-level resilience. 

Examples of projects

Resilience: Conceptualization for Research and Policy

This work draws together work from academia and humanitarian practice and policy, to help define and operationalize resilience.

See policy brief here and abstract here 

Child and Youth Resilience Scale Smiling child

We developed and validated the Arabic-language Child and Youth Resilience Measured (CYRM) with Syrian refugee and Jordanian youth.  This study was led by Panter-Brick, Hadfield, Dajani, Eggerman, Ager & Ungar. 

More information here:

Childlren in a tentResilience and Mental Health in Afghanistan

Eggerman and Panter-Brick led the first longitudinal survey of child and adolescent mental health in Afghanistan.  This project integrated cross-cultural psychiatric epidemiology with medical anthropology to provide evidence on mental health and resilience across generations. More information here:

Young boyAn Ethnographic Study of Father-Child Interactions & Child Development in Sierra Leone  

This ethnographic study, led by Kristen McLean, showed how men engage with children in the aftermath of conflict and Ebola, providing evidence on local family dynamics and wellbeing.  For the Harvard program, please see:

woman getting blood pressureMental health, psychosocial distress, and stress biomarkers

Sancilio, Eggerman, Rasmussen, Ventevogel, and Panter-Brick compared the extent to which individual stress physiology mapped onto local and international mental health screening instruments.  More information here: