South African, urban youth narratives: resilience within community
South African youth in low-income, urbanised communities are exposed to high levels of daily stressors, which increase their risk to negative outcomes. Resiliency can provide avenues for youth to transcend adversity and may contribute to their positive development. To provide a deeper understanding of the pathways that adolescents use to overcome adversity, this paper examined future aspirations of South African youth and how these aspirations were connected to resiliency factors framed by their lived context. A phenomenological approach was used to explore the perceptions of high school students. Fourteen focus groups with girls and boys (N ¼ 112) were conducted. Data were analysed using a thematic approach. Discussions of the harsh conditions undermining the community’s future highlighted opportunities for improvement. Community connectedness, hope and altruism were prevalent in youth’s responses and could be used to facilitate community and individual resiliency. Our overall findings have important implications for positive youth development efforts.