Concepts of Normativity Shape Youth Identity and Impact Resilience: a Critical Analysis

  • Candice M ChristmasEmail author
Original Article


A critical interpretive synthesis of strength-based models to promote youth resilience was undertaken to look for themes relevant to policy and practice in bettering youth wellness. A first round of analysis generated eight major themes. Critical analysis questioned the assumptions upon which models of youth resilience were built and what influenced proposed solutions. Additional literature on youth identity was explored to better critique the issue of normativity in relation to youth identity-formation, youth studies and youth work. The intersections that shape youth identity are mirrored against concepts of normativity devised by adults, and reinforced at multiple levels and spaces. Despite the best intentions of authority figures, institutions, the media and society at large, youth identities are often oppressed. Anti-oppression approaches and training are needed in institutions and programmes that serve youth to address the multiple intersections that can lead to marginalization, social exclusion, negative self-identities and poor mental health.


Youth Resilience Wellness Voice Health policy Intersections Inclusivity 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest. The Research is not primary involving Human Participants and/or Animals


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Policy & Equity, School of Health ManagementYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.c/o the Office of Women’s Health Research Chair in Mental Health, Faculty of HealthYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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