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Keynote session: Resilience among children/young people from low socio-economic backgrounds

This session will be delivered by Ingrid Schoon, Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at the Institute of Education, University College London and Cristina Iannelli, Professor of Education and Social Stratification and Co-Director of the Understanding Inequalities project at the University of Edinburgh. 
Most research and policy debates focus on the risk factors associated with lower education and labour market outcomes of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. This plenary session, instead, will focus on the protective and enabling factors, operating at individual, family and contextual levels, which lead some young people to achieve outcomes which are better than we would expect given their disadvantaged origins.

In her presentation titled 'Beating the odds: A socio-ecological developmental systems framework for the study of resilience' , Professor Schoon will introduce a socio-ecological developmental systems approach for the study of human resilience, conceptualising the multiple contextual influences (ranging from the micro to the macro context and including the ecosystem), and their interactions with individual functioning over time. It is argued that resilience is a multi-level, dynamic and relational process where individual and context mutually constitute each other through processes of co-regulation. A broad definition of key concepts, such as risk and adaptation, will be provided. Using evidence from the British cohort studies developmental and resilience processes will be illustrated using examples from research on the transition from dependent childhood to independent adulthood.

Professor Iannelli will address the topic of resilience with her presentation  'Succeeding against the odds: which factors matter?'. Not all young people from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds end up with poor educational and labour market outcomes. What factors contribute to their success in the face of adversity? Drawing from analyses of data from the Scottish Longitudinal Study and the Growing Up in Scotland, this talk will discuss the factors (individual, family and contextual) which, during childhood and adolescence, enable some young people to break the vicious circle of the social reproduction of inequalities.

Read more about about each presenter and their work.