Zones of narrative safety: Promoting psychosocial resilience in young people

Saundra Murray Nettles, Michael J. Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This essay discusses the potential of narrative expression as a method of primary prevention to promote psychosocial resilience in young people. Conceptual perspectives from resilience research are examined as rationales for "zones of narrative safety," defined as sites of expression, listening, and reflection informal and informal activities structured to be supportive and caring. The role of narrative in integrative processes is highlighted, and practical strategies in schools and communities are used to illustrate how narrative formats are applied for the purpose of fostering competence in youths. Further study of such strategies is needed for design of effective prevention programs in different contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-373
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Primary Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Competence
  • Integration
  • Narrative
  • Resilience
  • School-aged youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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