The Resiliency Survey


What is the Resiliency Questionnaire?

The Resiliency Questionnaire measures the strengths that are connected to how resilient we are as individuals. These are the factors that help us to recover quickly from challenges and setbacks.  Some of those things are internal factors ("I Am") – like how we think about things or how optimistic we are. Other factors are external factors ("I Have") – like how much support we have from family, friends, school/work and our community.

When working with complex or at-risk youth, we tend to focus is on what's wrong or what is lacking.  The Resiliency Questionnaire, on the other hand, is built on an approach that emphasizes the strengths that we all possess. It supports identifying what a person feels is "great" about them as a starting point to invite positive change.  The resulting profile is wholistic picture of the positive traits and potential limitations that need to be considered  when trying to understand what factors (internal and external) contribute to people living their best lives.

The Resiliency Questionnaire and evaluation framework is an assessment protocol that provides a statistically sound and research-based approach to understanding the strengths related to long-term resiliency.  It helps to show teachers, service providers and youth themselves, where there are positive assets and where individuals may need additional support.

How would the Resiliency Survey Help my Students or Clients

resiliency Being able to measure the factors connected to resiliency is powerful because resiliency is the reason that some people succeed when faced with risks and difficulties, while others have difficulty recovering. It is the capability of individuals, families and communities to effectively cope with significant adversity or stress and even grow stronger because of it.  Research clearly indicates that understanding the role of resiliency lays the foundation for constructive change and transformation.

Results from the resiliency questionnaire can become the basis for the early identification and development of action plans for youth, adults and families.  Working through the survey can also be empowering for individuals through a participatory process. It initiates life planning and future-oriented thinking by helping a person to understand that they can impact their own capacity to navigate and negotiate life's challenges in positive ways.

The questionnaire can also be used as a pre and post testing tool to evaluate whether the programs in the toolkit were successful in helping to bring about the desired positive change andcapacity building.  Parts of the survey can be used to show changes in positive behaviours (e.g. healthy activity) or reductions in risk taking behaviours (e.g. drug use) that occur as a result of participation in the various programs. Communities, organizations or schools can also use this assessment as a way to measure any other intervention they have underway or want to implement.  It can be a great help when applying for funding because it can help you show how you will measure results.

Program Logistics

The Resiliency Questionnaire can be conducted online, or it can be downloaded for use as a paper and pencil questionnaire. If it is done on paper, the teacher or facilitator will need to input the results onto the Resiliency website.

The questionnaire can be conducted one-on-one or in a group. Survey questions can by put up on an overhead or digital projector so that the meaning of specific terms can be clarified if you are working with a group.

The survey takes about 45 minutes to complete, but individual participants may vary in the time they need.

How Does the Resiliency Survey Work?

Facilitators and teachers can review the Questionnaire in advance and choose to add or remove sections depending on the group of youth they are working with. In addition to the 62 Developmental Strengths questions, there are optional factors you may choose to include like socio-demographic information, pro-social or risk items.

Once the questionnaire is modified to suit your evaluation needs, access codes will be provided.  When youth have completed the survey online (or their responses have been entered after doing the paper version), the results are scored for individuals and for the group.  A teacher or facilitator can then log on to the Resiliency Initiatives website to create individual profiles or a variety of aggregated reports.

If the teacher or facilitator is using the questionnaire as a pre and post test for a particular tool or set of tools, he or she would follow the same process at the end of the program (or set of programs). Pre-Post reports can then be generated that show whether there have been any changes as a result of taking part in the program(s).

Available Supports for Teachers and Community Facilitators

Training workshops

Resiliency Initiatives provides workshops to support schools and communities wanting to develop a strength-based approach to nurturing positive youth development and culture of resiliency.

Presentation topics are :

  1. Resilience: Understanding and Building the Social Capacity to Thrive in Complex Children and Youth
  2. Resilience: A Paradigm Shift From "At Risk" to "At Potential"
  3. A Strength-Based Approach to Assessing and Building Resiliency in Complex Children and Youth
  4. Core Competencies: The Missing Building Blocks for Academic Success
  5. A strength-Based School and Community Culture – The Starting Point for Nurturing Resilience
  6. Program Evaluation – Focusing on Process, Not Outcomes

If interested, please contact Resiliency Initiatives to discuss your training or program evaluation needs (403 274-7706 or

How Does the Resiliency Survey Fit into the Toolkit?

The Resiliency Questionnaire provides an excellent assessment tool to measure the effectiveness of the other tools in the toolkit.  This means the questionnaire would be done before any of the other tools, and again after you had completed PreludeThe Real Game and Guiding Circles, or whatever combination of tools you are using.

Doing the survey at the beginning of a new program can also serve as an opening point of discussion around the strengths we all bring with us to any situation, and the personal life stories that have brought participants to this point in their lives.  Debriefing from the questionnaire can also initiate future-oriented thinking by helping youth understand that they can impact their own resiliency levels —and their own futures.

Who Developed it?

The Resiliency Questionnaire was developed by Resiliency Initiatives, an independent consulting organization committed to enhancing the well-being and healthy development of children, youth, adults and families.

Resiliency Initiatives was established in 2001 based in Calgary, Alberta. Resiliency Initiatives strives to advance the well-being of children, youth and their families by generating knowledge about, and the ability to assess the resiliency factors and developmental strengths that are essential to the well-being of individuals and the communities they live in. To accomplish this, Resiliency Initiatives works with schools, service providers, government agencies, communities and community organizations to provide knowledge, tools, training and support to assess and evaluate people's strengths and resiliency; evaluate change and development and evolve strength-based practice.


Mat Halton
Phone 403 274-7706
E-Mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.