Measuring Resilience

How do you measure resilience in a digital age?

Evidence-based with Measurable Outcomes

The wellbeing and resilience of young people is a major issue across the world. Increasing numbers of teenagers being exposed to more and more complex risks and stresses than in the past, their lives governed by factors that previous generations were not exposed to, which has led to greater levels of anxiety and depression.

The key issue is HOW to assess each child in a consistent and objective manner in order to provide a true measure of their “resilience.” Our ground breaking app, APPA provides the platform to assess the resilience of young people using digital technology they can relate to. APPA Scotland, working with a leader in the field of resilience in young people, Dr. Michael Ungar (of Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia) has embodied his resilience research in APPA.

For the first time, schools have the capability to assess resilience and wellbeing not based simply on qualitative data such as “how do you feel” but based on quantitative data that has been validated in a 10-year study costing over CAD 1million.

APPA – The Process

Mobile App – APPA (Adaptive Psychological Profiling Application) is an app on a mobile device (Mobile, iPad, Tablet) that assesses a young person’s ability to overcome challenges in times of trouble.


Assessment – When your child uses APPA they will meet Alex, an avatar who will guide them through the app and be their personal resilience coach. Alex will ask them questions about their life, such as their personal strengths, difficulties, community, school, family, and friends.


Resilience Report – Once your child has answered all of Alex’s questions, APPA will generate a report showing how resilient your child is on 11 Indicators of Wellbeing along with suggested actions to improve their resilience :

  • Consequences
  • Parent/Child Relationship
  • Power of Identity
  • Positive Thinking
  • Physical Health
  • Structure
  • Strong Relationships
  • Sense of Control
  • Sense of Belonging
  • Safety and Support
  • Rights and Responsibilities


Action Plan – APPA also provides a template for educators and mental health professionals to produce Action Plans to ensure your child develops their resilience to its fullest potential.

Helpful Hints – Over the following two months, Alex will send your child some ‘helpful hints’ or suggestions on how to improve their wellbeing around the following :

  • Boundaries
  • Rules
  • Being Loved
  • Feeling Special
  • Control of Life
  • Fitting in
  • Being Treated Fairly
  • Safety
  • Thinking Positively

Alex will encourage them to seek help from a trusted adult when it becomes apparent there is an area in their life that they need additional support. The app will also provide your child with contacts tailored to their school and community giving them access to support channels.


Repeat – After a few months, Alex will ask your child some of the same questions again and compare their results over time to see if they have become more resilient. Alex will also keep sending them ‘helpful hints,’ focusing on areas that they need the most help.

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Resilience is key in our day and age. We want our kids to be strong, to believe in themselves, to not shy away from the difficulties of life and be ready to face them with courage and confidence.

Check out this informative TED Talk by professor Sam Goldstein. "Resilience embraces the ability of a child to deal effectively with stress and pressure, to cope with every day challenges, to bounce back from disappointments, adversity and trauma, to develop clear and realistic goals, to solve problems, to relate comfortably with others and to treat one's self and others with respect. Scientific studies of children facing great adversity in their lives support the importance of a resilient mindset as a powerful force. Resilience explains why some children overcome overwhelming obstacles, sometimes clawing and scraping their way to successful adulthood, while others become victims of their early experiences in environments."

This is what we work for and this is what we believe in for our young people. This is #APPA!
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