Connection with culture, spiritual or faith-based organisations and even broader social movements can foster a sense of being part of something greater than oneself. Ungar (2006) claims that “…adherence to one’s local and/or global cultural practices, values and beliefs” (p57) supports resilient adaptation.

Crawford and colleagues (2006) propose that cultural systems, including religions, may work by engaging the fundamental adaptive systems that foster attachment, self-regulation and meaning making.

Cultures and religions incorporate belief systems, rituals and practices that can help people deal with expected and unexpected adversities; for example, rituals for loss and mourning. Being part of a community with shared beliefs and values can provide comfort and support during times of stress and need. It is noted that through their cultural and religious connections, many youth AOD clients and others have had negative experiences. Youth AOD practitioners are advised not to make the assumption that such connections will automatically be positive.