The Centre for the Study of Resilience

The Centre for the Study of Resilience is known for Transdisciplinary Resilience Research in a challenged and resourceful African space.

The Centre for the Study of Resilience (CSR) at the University of Pretoria (UP) generates knowledge on innovative responses to challenges that are typical of a Global South, especially Southern African space, that promote positive development and circumvents negative development predicted because of adversity.

Challenge is inevitable and uncertainty requires resilience and evidence of how to absorb, adapt to and transform despite disturbance. As the CSR is situated in a postcolonial space in transformation, it is well-placed to study the socio-ecological processes of resilience. The knowledge generated from this Global South, African hub adds alternative insights into resilience domains – usually dominated by Eurocentric and Western theories, methods and epistemologies. CSR-knowledge foregrounds social dimensions of resilience in terms of transdisciplinary frameworks and global, regional and local collaboration. 

The aims and objectives of the CSR are, among other things, to add knowledge from Southern Africa, as a Global South space, to global discourses on resilience; to co-produce sustainable evidence on resilience by privileging methodologies and lenses that leverage partnerships with systemic stakeholders (government, communities, researchers); to generate resilience knowledge that provide insight on how to support equitable social transformation in a severely unequal and challenged space; and to produce knowledge that foregrounds the utility of resources typical of a Southern African space (socio-cultural Indigenous Knowledge Systems), natural resources, built environment resources) in resilience studies. 

In a Global South space, it is necessary to have evidence of positive outcomes in relation to inequality, social exclusion, diversity, postcolonial transformation, and social justice.

The Centre for the Study of Resilience views Mental Health and understanding young people's needs and resilience in challenging contexts as an important field of study. Please visit the link below for a newsitem featuring Prof. Linda Theron from the CSR and her interview on eNCA.

We believe that psychosocial support is critical in the face of COVID 19.  It builds our resilience to face this threat and gives us determination to overcome.  Last week Dr Tedros said in his press briefing – Hope is a powerful medicine. REPSSI and APSSI’s contribution to the global effort is to develop a series of presentations that we are going to put out twice a week. The first is titled – Fright, Flight or Flocking.  Flocking is a theory of community resilience which is an important aspect of psychosocial support.

The 10 minute presentation was available on facebook at 11 am South African time on Wednesday 1 April 2020. If you missed it, you are welcome to view the video via youtube at   You are all invited to participate and to share this presentation with all of your partners.


Schools as Enabling Spaces for the Improvement of Quality of Life for Primary School Children Living in Rural South Africa - Project Resources

Make use of the following link for access to various learner-co-generated books in a range of themes:


CSR Most Recent Publications



Journal articles

Abou Jaoude, G. J., Leiva-Granados, R., Mcgranahan, R., Callaghan, P., Haghparast-Bidgoli, H., Basson, L., Ebersöhn, L., Gu, Q., & Skordis, J. (2024). Universal Primary School Interventions to Improve Child Social–Emotional and Mental Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review of Economic Evaluations. School Mental Health, 1-23.

Conference proceedings/keynotes

Ebersöhn, L. (2024). Keynote Address: The educational challenges of South Africa and Russia In dialogue with Brazil: Possibilities in the BRICS context. A Conferência Nacional de Educação (Conae), Brasilia, Federal District, Brazil., Federal, University of Brasilia (UnB). 28-30 January 2024.

Ebersöhn, L. (2024). A sweet spot: doing what we’re good at to address what the world needs while generating evidence for change. University of Pretoria Senate Conference, 15 & 16 February 2024.

Ebersöhn, L. (2024). Plenary: Science communication for responsive- and responsible science in a Global South space, Education Association of South Africa (EASA) Annual conference. Mount Grace Hotel & Spa, Magaliesburg, South-Africa, 14-17 January 2024.

Ebersöhn, L. Graham, M., De Bruin, J.E., & Hopley, R. (2024). Plenary: Communicating science on intentional play as cost-effective intervention to promote positive development of children-in-distress, Education Association of South Africa (EASA) Annual conference. Mount Grace Hotel & Spa, Magaliesburg, South-Africa, 14-17 January 2024.

Ebersöhn, L. , Gu, Q., Langa, P., Themane, M., Rampa, K., Mabota-Rapholo, P., Oosthuizen, M., & De la Rey, M. (2024). Plenary: – Communicating science on the Enabling Schools Toolkit to promote education- and wellbeing outcomes of foundation phase children in rural spaces, Education Association of South Africa (EASA) Annual conference. Mount Grace Hotel & Spa, Magaliesburg, South-Africa, 14-17 January 2024.



Journal articles

Ann, L., du Preez, H., Basson, L., Ebersöhn, L., & Gu, Q. (2023). The role of early childhood development & education in supporting children's learning and well-being in the context of rural education. Journal of Early Years Education.

Bandeira, M., Graham, M., & Ebersohn, L. (2023). The significance of feeling safe for resilience of adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. Frontiers in Psychology, 14.

Chapters in books

Ebersöhn, L. (2023). Foreword. We are in this together. School-Based Family Counseling for Crisis and Disaster: Global Perspectives. In E. Hernandez & S. Deb (Eds.), Routledge.

Ebersöhn, L., (2023). Foreword. Handbook of Research on Perspectives in Foreign Language Assessment. In Köksal, D., Kavaklı, N., & Arslan, S., IGI Global.

Ebersöhn, L., & Gogolin, I. (Eds.). (2023). Global Perspectives on Education Research, Vol. II: Facing Challenges and Enabling Spaces to Support Learning (1st ed.). Routledge.

Ebersöhn, L., Omidire, F., & Maapola, S. (2023). Youth perspectives on academic service learning: courage to fly into our dreams. In V. Scherman & L. Liebenberg (Eds.), African Schools as Enabling Spaces: A Framework for Building Communities of Care. Routledge. DOI: 10.4324/9781003051398.

Nkoana, L. N., & Ebersöhn, L. (2023). A meta-summary review of enabling school-based interventions in highly challenged schools in a postcolonial, global south space. In V. Scherman & L. Liebenberg (Eds.), African Schools as Enabling Spaces: A Framework for Building Communities of Care. Routledge. DOI:10.4324/9781003051398.

Omidire, F., Ebersöhn, L., & Ramollo, D. (2023). Youth perspective on structural barriers. In V. Scherman & L. Liebenberg (Eds.), African Schools as Enabling Spaces: A Framework for Building Communities of Care. Routledge. DOI:10.4324/9781003051398.

Conference proceedings/keynotes

Basson, L., Ebersöhn, L., Murphy, P.K., & Gu, Q. (2023). The quality and sustainability of resilience-enabling complex school-based interventions in rural primary schools in the Global South: A Qualitative Evidence Synthesis. Conference presentation, Annual Conference of the Education Association of South Africa (EASA). 8 – 11 January 2023, The Century City hotel and Conference Centre, Cape Town.

Ebersöhn, L. (2023). Education Research and Resilience in Times of Crisis. Faculty of Education Research Seminar, Edith Cowan University, Perth,7 July 2023.

Ebersöhn, L. (2023). Keynote Address. 2023 International Conference on Psychology Education (ICOPE 17), Mexicali, Mexico, 27-28 October, Universidad Autonoma De Baja California (UABC).

Ebersöhn, L. (2023). Plenary speaker. Celebrating Transdisciplinary Research in Sub-Saharan Africa: Educational Perspectives, Postgraduate Research Indaba, 3 October 2023, Pretoria, University of Pretoria.

Ebersöhn, L., Gu, Q., Mosepele, J. (2023). Schools as Enabling Spaces to Improve Learning and Health-Related Quality of Life for Primary School Children in Rural Communities in South Africa, Foundation Phase Conferences 2023. Directorate: General Education and Training Western Cape Government, 3 – 4 October 2023, Online.

Gu, Q., Ebersöhn, L. (2023). Schools as Enabling Spaces to Improve Learning and Health Outcomes in Rural South Africa. World Education Summit. Learning 3.0 Empowering and Enabling Education, Residence and Conference Centre, Toronto, 20-23 March 2023.



Journal articles

Aluko FR, Omidire MF, Mampane MR (2022). Reconceptualising Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: Realising Equity and Social Justice. African Perspectives of Research in Teaching and Learning, 6 (2), pp. 79 - 95.

Appiah R, Wilson-Fadiji A, Wissing M, Schutte L (2022). The Inspired Life Program: Development of a multicomponent positive psychology intervention for rural adults in Ghana. Journal of Community Psychology, 50 pp. 302 - 328. DOI: 10.1002/jcop.22566

Cameranesi, M.; Theron, L.; Höltge, J.;Jefferies, P.; Ungar, M. Understanding the Mechanisms through Which Family Risk Affects Adolescent Mental Health: A Model of Multisystemic Resilience in Context. Children 2022, 9, 546.

Dada, S., May, A., Bastable, K., Samuels, A., Tönsing, K., Wilder, J., ... & Reddy, V. (2022). The involvement matrix as a framework for involving youth with severe communication disabilities in developing health education materials. Health Expectations.

Ebersöhn, L., Graham, M., & Versveld, J. (2022). Social connectedness as resilience-enabling pathways for teachers in a challenged context. Teachers and Teaching: Theory in Practice.

Ebersöhn, L. (2022). We are in this together: Foreword to School-Based Family Counselling for Crisis and Disaster. In E. Hernandez & S. Deb (Eds.), School-Based Family Counseling for Crisis and Disaster: Global Perspectives? Routledge.

Ebersöhn, L., Omidire, F. & Murphy, P.K. (2022). Academic flocking and global distress: Equitable south-north research partnering to promote quality education in diverse contexts and cultures. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft.

Freeland, L., Haffejee, S., Getanda, E., Theron, L., & Vostanis, P. (2022) Children’s perspectives of psychosocial help-seeking in Kenya, Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies,

Goodman, M. L., Kidman, R., & Theron, L. (2022). Integrative approaches required to support children affected by COVID-19. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 6(4), 218-219.

Haffejee, S., & Theron, L.C. (2022). Visual methods in resilience research: Reflections on its utility. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 19(1), 20-43.

Haffejee, S., Theron, L., Hassan, S., & Vostanis, P. (2022). Juxtaposing disadvantaged children’s insights on psychosocial helpseeking with those of service providers: Lessons from South Africa and Pakistan. Child & Youth Services, 1-25.

Höltge, J., Theron, L., & Ungar, M. (2022). A multisystemic perspective on the temporal interplay
between adolescent depression and resilience supporting individual and social resources. Journal of
Affective Disorders, 297, 225—232.

Levine, D., & Theron, L. (2022). Digital storytelling with South African youth: a critical reflection. Qualitative Research Journal,

Millar DA, Kapwata T, Kunene Z, Mogotsi M, Wernecke B, Garland R, Mathee A, Theron LC, Levine D, Wright CY (2022). Respiratory health among adolescents living in the Highveld Air Pollution Priority Area in South Africa. BMC Public Health, 22 (2136), pp. 1 -11.

Ndou-Chikwena NN, Omidire MF (2022). Systemic support for learners with developmental language disorders in Zimbabwe and South Africa. South African Journal of Communication Disorders, 69 pp. 1 - 13. DOI: 10.4102/sajcd.v69i1.850.

Ocansey S, Sefotho MM (2022). An Exploratory Qualitative Study on the Perceived Barriers to Accessing Ghanaian University Counselling Services. Journal of Student Affairs in Africa, 10 (1), pp. 157 - 173. DOI: 10.24085/jsaa.v10i1.3788.

Theron, L. C., Abreu-Villaça, Y., Augusto-Oliveira, M., Brennan, C. H., Crespo-Lopez, M. E., de Paula Arrifano, G., ... & Hadfield, K. (2022). A systematic review of the
mental health risks and resilience among pollution-exposed adolescents. Journal of Psychiatric Research,
146, 55—66. 

Theron, L., Rothmann, S., Makhnach, A. & Ungar, M. (2022). Adolescent mental health resilience and combinations of caregiver monitoring and warmth: A person-centred perspective. Journal of Child and Family Studies,

Theron, L. C., Levine, D. T., & Ungar, M. (2022). The inhibitors and enablers of emerging adult COVID-19 mitigation compliance in a township context. South African Journal of Science, 118(5-6), 1-8. script=sci_arttext&pid=S0038-23532022000300014

Theron LC, Murphy K, Ungar M (2022). Multisystemic Resilience: Learning from Youth in Stressed Environments. Youth & Society, 54 (6), pp. 1000 - 1022.

Theron, L., Rothmann, S., Höltge, J. & Ungar, M. (2022). Differential adaptation to adversity: A latent profile analysis of youth engagement with resilience-enabling cultural resources and mental health outcomes in a stressed Canadian and South African community. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology,

Theron, L., Ungar, M. & Höltge, J. (2022). Pathways of resilience: Predicting school engagement trajectories for South African adolescents living in a stressed environment. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 69,

Tönsing, K. M., Dada, S., Bastable, K., & Samuels, A. (2022). Health information and education needs for youth with complex communication needs during the Covid-19 pandemic: rehabilitation professionals’ perspectives. Disability and Rehabilitation, 1-10.

Versfeld, J., Graham, M. A., & Ebersöhn, L. (2022). Time to flock: Time together strengthens relationships and enhances trust to teach despite challenges. Teachers and Teaching, 29(1), 70–104.‌.

Wright C, Wernecke B, Kapwata T, Kunene Z, Mathee A, Vande Hey J, Theron LC (2022). Perceptions of thermal comfort and coping mechanisms related to indoor and outdoor temperatures among participants living in rural villages in Limpopo province, South Africa. South African Journal of Psychology, 52(4), pp.449 - 459. DOI:10.1177/00812463221129363

Chapters in Books

Appiah R, Wissing M, Wilson-Fadiji A, Schutte L (2022). Factorial Validity of the Twi Version of the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form and Prevalence of Mental Health in a Rural Ghanaian Sample. Edition:16 In L. Schutte & T. Guse & M. Wissing (eds.), Embracing Well-Being in Diverse African Contexts: Research Perspectives, Switzerland: Springer Nature. (pp. 73-97). DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-85924-4_4.

Ebersöhn L, Omidire MF, Mampane MR (2022). Collective Distress Calls for Collective Wellbeing Measures: The Case of social support as a Resilience-enabling Afrocentric Indigenous Pathway. Edition: 1st In H. Weaver (ed.), The Routledge International Handbook of Indigenous Resilience, Oxton, Abingdon: Routledge. (pp.195-207). 978-0-367-49972-3.

Khumalo I, De Klerk W, Wilson-Fadiji A (2022). Nature and Role of Student Hope and Meaning in Goal Setting: Implications for Higher Education in South Africa. Edition:16 In L. Schutte &T. Guse & M. Wissing (eds.), Embracing Well-Being in Diverse African Contexts: Research Perspectives, Switzerland: Springer Nature. (pp. 247-273). DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-85924-4_11.

Machimana EG, Ebersöhn L, Sefotho M (2022). Benefits of community engagement practice in the context of higher education and rural school partnership: Multi-perspective voices. Edition: 1st In V. E & E. I & D. H (eds.), Community Engagement Research in South Africa: Methods, Theories, Histories and Rural School Partnership: Multi-perspective voices, South Africa, Pretoria: Van Schaik Publishers. (pp. 241-259). 978-0-627-03793-1.

Schutte L, Wissing M, Wilson-Fadiji A, Mbowa S, Shoko P, Schutte W (2022). Exploration of Harmony as a Quality of Happiness: Findings from South Africa and Ghana. Edition: 16 In L. Schutte & T. Guse & M. Wissing (eds.), Embracing Well-Being in Diverse African Contexts: Research Perspectives, Switzerland: Springer Nature. (pp. 319-343). DOI:10.1007/978-3-030-85924-4_14.

Theron LC, Ungar M (2022). Resilience in the Context of Chronic, Complex Stressors: An Emerging Adult’s Account. Edition:16 In L. Schutte & T. Guse & M. Wissing (eds.), Embracing Well-Being in Diverse African Contexts: Research Perspectives, Switzerland: Springer Nature. (pp. 151-169). DOI:10.1007/978-3-030-85924-4_7

Wilson-Fadiji A, Khumalo I, Zulu N (2022). Well-Being in Africa: Towards an Africa(n) Centred Positive Psychology. Edition: 16 In L. Schutte & T. Guse & M. Wissing(eds.), Embracing Well-Being in Diverse African Contexts: Research Perspectives, Switzerland: Springer Nature. (pp. 31-49). DOI:

Wilson-Fadiji A, Wissing M (2022). Positive Psychology in Sub-Saharan Africa. Edition: 1st In E. Chang& C. Downey & H. Yang & I. Zettler & M. Muyan-Yilik (eds.), The International Handbook of Positive Psychology: A Global Perspective on the Science of Positive Human Existence, Switzerland: Springer Nature. (pp. 307-354). DOI:

Conference proceedings/keynotes

Ebersöhn, L. (2022). Keynote address. Equitable global education research partnerships and global distress – the case of academic flocking. CIMIE, Barcelona.


For more publications, click here.



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