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Wednesday, June 17 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
Early Childhood Resilience - Geraldine Oades-Sese, Betul Alaca, Sheila McDonald

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Early Childhood Resilience:

Abstract #130
Building Resilience in Civilian and Military Children the Sesame Street Way
Presenter: Geraldine Oades-Sese Co - Presenter: Noor Mahmood
The purpose of the Sesame Street Resilience Project was to determine the effectiveness of the multimedia educator’s toolkit, Little Children, Big Challenges in promoting resilience in young children ages 3 to 5. Teachers were trained to implement a 12-week resilience-based intervention in their classrooms. The intervention group focused on enhancing children’s social-emotional resilience, while the active control group focused on building physical/mental resilience through healthy eating and exercise. Participants included 159 preschool teachers, 822 parents, and 3,180 civilian and military-connected preschool children from state preschools, Head Start Centers, and Military Child Developmental Centers in San Diego, California.  Sixty school sites were randomly assigned to an active control or intervention group. Within each classroom, five children from each classroom were randomly selected to be evaluated during pre- and post-intervention for a total of 822 children.  Child outcomes were measured using standardized rating scales from teachers and parents as well as direct testing of children’s skills. Findings demonstrated that the intervention increased children’s adaptive skills, decreased depression and anxiety, enhanced children’s relationships with their parents and teachers, and increased children’s social skills, emotional competence, and emotional literacy. The differential effects of the intervention between civilian and military children are discussed.

Abstract #149
Children To Children In Faraway Places: Gaining Insight Into Preschooler’s Views Of Their Communities
Presenter: Betul Alaca Co - Presenters: Claudia Rocca, Stefania Maggi
In this presentation, we will report results from a study that sought to understand how young children perceive their residential communities. Conducted as part of an international initiative (Kids in Places), children’s insights were gathered in the context of a cultural exchange between five Canadian and five Italian preschools. Approximately 100 children between the ages of 3 and 5 were asked to share their views of the social and physical spaces within their community with other children who live in a ‘faraway place’. Towards this aim, children engaged in a series of drawing and photo-taking activities to describe their communities, thereby generating rich qualitative data for this study. Half of the children were audio recorded as they verbally described their drawings and photos – these accounts are being used to guide our data analyses. Preliminary analyses show that preschool children understand the concept of community as extending beyond their home and school environments. Further analyses are currently underway. Results will be presented with specific reference to the socio-economic and social characteristics of the communities that the children described. Implications of the results will be discussed, with an emphasis on children’s views and how they may be related to community resilience.

Abstract #226
Risk And Resilience Factors For Early Child Development: A Community-Based Cohort Study In Alberta, Canada
Presenter: Sheila McDonald 
One in six children experience developmental problems at school entry; however, we lack a comprehensive understanding of risk and protective factors. The objectives of this study were to describe the key risk factors for poor child development at age 12 months and to identify factors that reduce the potentially adverse influence of poor maternal mental health and low socioeconomic status on child development. Methods: Data used is from the All Our Babies study, a prospective pregnancy cohort in Calgary, Alberta. The associations between putative risk factors and poor child development were examined in bivariate and multivariable analyses. A bivariate resilience analysis was also conducted to identify factors related to positive child development in the presence of maternal mental health or sociodemographic risk. Results: Key risk factors for poor child development included poor maternal mental health during pregnancy, low community resource use, and lack of adult interaction in the first postpartum year. Parenting efficacy, uptake of community resources and increased adult interaction were protective of poor child development among children most at risk for this outcome. Conclusions: As many of the identified risk and protective factors are modifiable, these results can inform community based strategies to optimize early childhood development.


Betul Alaca

Betul is completing her final year in the Bachelor of Honours Psychology program at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada). She is interested in the ways in which early learning environments and residential communities can promote healthy child development. Betul is currently writing... Read More →

Geraldine Oades-Sese

Geraldine V. Oades-Sese, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and the Associate Director of the Institute for the Study of Child Development, Rutgers RWJ Medical School. She is also the Director of the Research Lab for Resilience and Early Childhood Development. Her research... Read More →

avatar for Stefania Maggi

Stefania Maggi

Associate Professor, Carleton University
Associate Professor, Leading Investigator for the Kids in Places Initiative at Carleton University Stefania is Associate Professor at Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) with the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies, Child Studies Program, and the Department of Psychology. She... Read More →

Noor Mahmood

Research Assistant at Rutgers University Noor Mahmood is an undergraduate senior at Rutgers University, pursing a joint degree in biology and psychology, with a minor in nutrition. She is the Lab Manager for the Resilience Lab and is an eboard member for Project HEAL. She has also... Read More →

Claudia Rocca

Canadian Project Coordinator for the Kids in Places Initiative at Carleton University Claudia is the Canadian Project Coordinator for the Kids in Places Initiative. She obtained a Masters degree in Social Psychology from Carleton University, Canada for research on the allocation... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 11:00am - 12:30pm EDT
Frazee Room NAB 2nd Floor, King's College

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