Promoting Community Resilience in Disasters: The Role for Schools, Youth, and Families

Ronan, Kevin, Johnston, David

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Synopsis: A myriad of models are available to guide practice before, during, and following disasters. As emphasized in this book, we value the role of research in informing our assessment, education, and intervention efforts in this area. Keeping an eye on those elements that have research backing certainly assists with quality control generally. However, more specifically, we also stress the idea that there is evidence to support a role for hope and positive expectations in the motivation and engagement process. In addition, the more that people, including youth and adults, actively participate in efforts designed to help, the more benefits they tend to receive. The role of research in providing that initial hope and inspiring more active engagement with internal and external resources before, during, and after a disaster is part of the foundation of our practice in this area. In fact, in the clinical psychology training program directed by the senior author, the idea that we attempt to inculcate with our trainees is the idea of “hope and engagement on an evidence-based foundation.” Consequently, we do advocate for models of practice that have identified “active ingredients” that are included: those particularly identified through controlled evaluation research. However, it is also the case that a number of risk and protective factors identified through a number of studies (e.g., see Chapter 2) have as yet to be systematically included.

About the Author:

Kevin Ronan has been working in the hazards and disasters area for the past decade. He has an ongoing interest in community resilience and prevention work in this and other areas (e.g., conduct disorder and delinquency in youth and families). He has been the Director of Clinical Psychology Training at Massey University for a number of years and stresses evidence-based practice with trainees. In addition, the idea of accountability for producing outcomes is an emphasis in the training program and in his practice. He has published widely in the area of hazards and disasters.

David Johnston has been employed with the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, New Zealand since 1993 and his research is focused on reducing the vulnerability of society, economy and infrastructure to hazards. He has been involved in developing integrated risk management strategies for different hazard events, using techniques such as scenario development, mitigation planning and community education programs. He is also interested in assessing social and economic impacts of natural and environmental hazard events.

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Title: Promoting Community Resilience in Disasters:...
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