Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Concurrent Facilitated Discussions [clear filter]
Wednesday, June 17


Gender & Sexuality - Steve Leventhal, Saima Hirani, Jane March-McDonald, Martine Hébert
Gender & Sexuality: 

Abstract # 26
Bringing Resilience to the Global Health and Development Community: The Case of Girls First – India
Presenter: Steve Leventhal  Co - Presenters: Jane Gillham, Katherine Leventhal 
Mental Health Interventions Adolescents, Girls, International Development, Global Health, Intervention Today, 600 million girls live in low and middle income countries (LMICs). In part due to intense and entrenched gender-based discrimination, girls in these countries are significantly and almost uniformly less likely than their male counterparts to be educated, employed, and physically healthy.Over the last decade, many prominent actors in global health and development have adopted policies and programs to improve physical health, education, and employability for girls in LMICS (e.g., WHO, World Bank, UNICEF, etc.). However, there is a critical link that is missing: attention to resilience, and in particular, to psychosocial resilience. In this community, few have focused on building social-emotional assets (e.g., persistence, self-efficacy, strong ties with adults, etc.) as a key lever for improving physical health and education for girls.In this presentation we discuss how Girls First–India, a 2013-14 RCT of a combined resilience/adolescent health intervention among 3,400 rural adolescent girls in Bihar, India, has brought resilience into global health and development discussions among foundations and governments. We present strategies we have used in engaging with multiple stakeholders, challenges we have encountered, and lessons we have learned about the synergies of the field of resilience and the fields of global health and development. 

Abstract # 46
Viewing Women’s Resilience through a Gendered Lens:  A Critical Review
Presenter: Saima Hirani Co - Presenters: Gerri Lasiuk, Kathleen Hegadoren
Although it has been the subject of study for several decades, resilience research is beset with definitional and methodological issues that make it difficult to operationalize and measure resilience, compare findings across studies, and perform meta-analyses. In this presentation, we present findings of a critical review of the literature, which was motivated by the hypothesis that current conceptualizations of and methods for measuring resilience lack gender sensitivity. Data for the review was gleaned from electronic searches of CINAHL, MEDLINE, Science Direct, and PubMed using the search terms ‘resilience’, ‘adaptability’, ‘psychological constructs similar to resilience’, ‘women’, ‘gender’, and ‘gender based analyses’. Hand searches of references lists yielded additional literature. Data sources were limited to materials published in the English language between 1979 and 2014. Based on our findings, we argue that most current measures of resilience do not take into account gender-related social and environmental experiences that may contribute to the oft reported higher resilience scores in men. These gaps threaten the quality of evidence regarding women’s resilience and the development of strategies to support resilience in women. These limitations have practical implications for women’s health and healthcare.

Abstract # 50
Negotiating Transition to a ‘Grown Up World’: The Journey to Sexual and Reproductive Health for Unaccompanied Adolescent Asylum Seekers 
Presenter:Jane March-McDonald Co-Presenter: Cathy Brennan
Unaccompanied asylum seekers (UAS) around the world face increased risks in relation to sexual and reproductive health outcomes in the country of asylum due to: the loss of strong supportive structures and social networks, the absence of parental protection, cultural attitudes, poor knowledge of and lack of access to relevant services, as well as the need for these young people to prioritize immediate problems over sexual and reproductive health. Having negotiated the often dangerous and highly challenging journey of seeking asylum in the Western world, the resilience of UAS is clearly evident. How though do they subsequently manage and negotiate the transition from childhood to adulthood, identifying and securing resilient pathways to sexual and reproductive health, in a context marked by transition, uncertainty and cultural alienation? How might the communities they reside in and the available resources, shape their journeys and outcomes? The ethical and methodological challenges of carrying out research with this population are well documented. To identify and understand culturally specific and universal resilient pathways for sexual and reproductive health, we need to successfully engage UAS in research through using new and creative methodologies. Having secured a Worldwide Universities Development Fund grant, we welcome contributions and interest on our venture.

Abstract # 45

The Forgotten Victims Of Child Sexual Abuse: Disclosure And Resilience Features In Male Youth
Presenter: Martine Hébert Co - Presenters: Christine Wekerle, Isabelle Daigneault, Delphine Collin-Vézina
Child sexual abuse is now recognized as an important public health issue. Prevalence estimates reveal that 1 out of five women and 1 out of ten men report experiencing sexual abuse before the age of 18. Yet, sexual abuse and sexual violence against male youth often remains hidden, as male youth are less likely to disclose to anyone and less likely to seek services. Consequently, there are significant gaps in the scholarly literature as to the outcomes and possible resilience of male youth with sexual abuse experiences. Discussants in this panel will highlight findings from their recent studies as to the specific obstacles in disclosing sexual abuse experiences identified by male victims as well as the features associated with resilience in school-aged boys victims of sexual abuse. In addition, resilience characteristics of high school male adolescents experiencing sexual abuse and of child-welfare involved male adolescents experiencing sexual violence in the context of dating relationships will be summarized. This facilitated discussion will offer a unique opportunity to exchange as to the specific challenges in this area of investigation and the design of future investigations and tailored intervention addressing the needs of male youth victims of sexual abuse.

avatar for Gerri Lasiuk

Gerri Lasiuk

Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan
avatar for Jane March-McDonald

Jane March-McDonald

Lecturer Public Health/ Programme Lead Specialist Community Public Health Nursing/Researcher, University of southampton
Jane is a nurse, midwife and health visitor and is currently lecturer and programme lead for the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing programme in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton. Jane's research interests include: the health and wellbeing of marginalized... Read More →

Martine Hébert

Martine Hébert (Ph.D. in psychology) is professor at the sexology department of Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). She has training in child development and child clinical psychology as well as a strong background in psychometry. In the past 25 years, her research interests... Read More →
avatar for Steve Leventhal

Steve Leventhal

Executive Director, CorStone
As CorStone’s executive director, Steve Leventhal oversees all strategic planning, program development, external relations, and financial operations for the organization. Prior to joining CorStone, he oversaw strategic alliances, private-public partnerships, marketing and communications... Read More →


Cathy Brennan

Cathy is a Lecturer in Public Health based in the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences and is currently Programme Lead for the Masters in Public Health Programme. Cathy’s research interests include well-being in children and families and how social factors

Delphine Collin-Vezina

Dr. at McGill University Dr. Delphine Collin-Vézina is the Tier II Canadian Child Welfare Research Chair, an Associate Professor in Social Work at McGill University, and the director of the McGill Centre for Research on Children and Families. She is a clinical and developmental... Read More →

Isabelle Daigneault

Dr at Université de Montréal Isabelle Daigneault, (Ph.D. in psychology), clinical psychologist, is an associate professor in the department of psychology at the Université de Montréal. For the past 15 years, her research has focused on child and adolescent sexual assault. She... Read More →

Jane Gillham

Associate Professor at Swarthmore Dr. Jane Gillham is a psychologist, researcher, and educator. She is Associate Professor at Swarthmore College and Research Associate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center. Dr. Gillham co-directs the Penn Resiliency Project... Read More →

Dr. Kathleen Hegadoren

Professor at University of Alberta Dr Hegadoren completed her PhD in Medical Sciences in 1995. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship and working as a clinical researcher in mood disorders, she accepted a tenure-track position at the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta... Read More →

Gerri Lasiuk

Associate Profesor at University of Alberta Dr. Gerri Lasiuk is an Associate Professor and Director or the Nursing Simulation Centre in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. Her clinical, teaching, and research interest relate to psychiatric/ mental health nursing... Read More →

Katherine Leventhal

Kate Leventhal serves as Research and Program Coordinator for Girls First – India, managing all research efforts for this resilience-based program that helps girls in poverty to improve their circumstances and achieve their dreams. Kate joined CorStone in 2011 after working with... Read More →
avatar for Christine Wekerle

Christine Wekerle

McMaster University
Dr at McMaster University Christine Wekerle, is associate professor at Department of Pediatrics – Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University. She is the lead investigator in the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funded Boys’ and Men’s Health Team grant. Her... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 11:00am - 12:30pm
Seminar 7 A&A Lower Floor, King's College


Mental Health - Wen-Chih Tseng, Genevieve Chandler, Bertha Fountain, Anna Demetrakopoulos, Ashley Frerichs, Srividya Iyer
Mental Health:

Abstract #28
Lego Serious Play Applications to Enhance the Development of Narrative Identity in Economically Vulnerable College Students
Presenter: Wen-Chih Tseng
The aim of this study was to present a specific applications of the LEGO Serious Play (LSP) methodology that has been designed to enhance the development of narrative identity and build resilience in economically vulnerable college students. LSP was invented at the end of the 1990s and was officially launched in 2002. In this study, I used LSP to design a thorough process that allows students to develop building skills through making simple Lego models, then leaded students into the complex world of metaphor. The design activities focus on seven particular episodes in the story of life; they include (1) Chapters of Life, (2) My Collections of Events, (3) Anticipated Future Scripts, (4) Difficult Challenges in Life, (5) Personal Beliefs and Values, (6) Life’s Central Themes and (7) the Past as Future – Participation Reflection. Students were asked to use LEGO bricks to build models representing their thoughts, reflections and ideas about the above seven activities. Findings showed that LSP as an intervention medium has a positive impact on enhancement in students’ narrative identity, which, in turn, weigh on the decrease in vulnerability including anxiety and depression and on the increase in resilience abilities.

Abstract #40
Resilience Intervention for Young Adults with Adverse Childhood Experiences
Presenter: Genevieve Chandler Co-Presenter: Mary Jane O’Conner
Background: Risk behaviors of alcohol and drug abuse, smoking and disordered eating can lead to addiction, anorexia and obesity. Often the result of adverse childhood experiences, such behaviors can lead to COPD, liver disease, diabetes and depression. Resilience researchers, however, pose the question, is risk resilience? Specific aim: Feasibility study of the Empower Resilience Intervention to interrupt the trajectory of ACE to illness. Method: A pre-test, post-test college students (n=28) repeated measure of ACE, symptoms, health behaviors and resilience. (RM-ANOVA) was performed to test the effect of the intervention, a strength based course using resilience and social learning theory with mindfulness, education, writing, mentoring and social support. Results: A statistically significant cohort by time interaction for physical activity with the intervention group and narrative themes: building strengths, reframing resilience and creating connections. No change evident in risk or resilience. Conclusion: These provocative trends are theoretically consistent with a strength-based approach. Fine tuning the intervention and using ecological resilience measure may increase health behaviors and decrease symptoms. Implications: With the ERI study and a course with individuals who dropped out of high school we witnessed mindfulness, authentic writing and safe relationships transform the past to a vision of a preferred future.

Abstract #42
Homeless Youth in College
Presenter: Bertha Fountain
Limited research exists to date on the capacity of homeless youth in college to successfully tolerate and manage their experiences of being homeless.  The purpose of this research project is to deepen our understanding of academic resilience among homeless young adults (ages 18-30) who attend college. The primary research question guiding this study is:  How do homeless youth in college define and describe their academic resilience? Secondary questions include:  What are the barriers and supports they experience as part of their academic journey and how do they negotiate them?  What do homeless youth describe as influencing their ability to pursue post-secondary education?
This study draws on constructivist grounded theory to examine resilience among homeless youth in college.  This includes the identification of the factors that are promotive and protective as well as those that present challenges and risk.   The study will further explore the presence of survival strategies and coping techniques that can protect and present risk to students who experience housing instability. Data collection will include individual, in-depth interviews and focus groups with self-identified homeless young adults who attend City University of New York colleges.   How to examine resilience in this context is the purpose of the facilitated discussion.

Abstract #1
Resiliency Map: A tool for individual and community dialogue about complex loss, change and transition
Presenter: Anna Demetrakopoulous Co-Presenter: Yvette Perreault
The Resiliency Map is a 5m by 5m floor cloth which uses a visual structure to represent aspects of individual and shared experience.  It depicts concentric circles:  Self, Relational, Organizational and Social and Political Context, which are intersected by two primary meridians, Motivation and Commitment and Shared Values.  People are invited to walk on the Map to support the telling of their complex stories.  The Map has been used in multiple contexts, including debriefing after significant losses and traumatic events, personal and organizational transitions, and to support organizational assessment, planning and evaluation. Through the inter-connected layers, people can sort through their own narrative structures and the make visible the tensions within their own experience and the multiple roles they may have in a situation.

Abstract #6
Communities Fostering Resilience - A Lived Experience
Presenter: Ashley Frerichs
Throughout my life I have experienced many struggles that have allowed for the development of high resilience which is something I consider to be a leading factor that has supported me to become the strong young adult I am today.  As part of the facilitated panel discussion in the area of community interventions, I will use my lived experiences to support the work of other panellist and incorporate first hand knowledge of different pathways to resilience, emphasising the imperative role my community played in helping me navigate tough times as well as in building my resilience. In particular, I found a great sense of belonging, many long-term supportive relationships and maybe most importantly an internal resilience that is unwavering. My community was my activists, my thing to lean on and my beacon of hope in a way that social service organizations were able replicate, however only in a short-term structured way; when I look at what got me (and is still getting me) to where I am and where I am going, it was and still is my community where I found my strength.

Abstract #23
How a Multi-Stakeholder Network is Seeking to Transform Canadian Youth Mental healthcarePresenter: Srividya Iyer
This presentation describes how a multi-stakeholder network is seeking to transform Canadian youth mental healthcare. Established with a five-year grant under CIHR’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, the ACCESS Network serves youths aged 11 to 25 at 12 sites in six provinces and one territory that include Indigenous, immigrant and other at-risk populations. Creating ACCESS entailed engaging all key stakeholder groups (youth, family/carers, community organizations, service providers, researchers, policy/decision makers and Indigenous groups); achieving consensus on collectively defined core values and objectives; and understanding site-specific services and barriers. Major challenges were posed by stakeholders’ and sites’ divergent expectations, affiliations, geographies and realities. The common concerns of youths and families helped us negotiate these tensions and coalesce into a robust transformational base. The ACCESS approach stresses resilience through early detection; community engagement; youth and family participation in service design and provision; the facilitation of social reintegration; the provision of services in youth-friendly, stigma-reducing settings; and 72-hour response time targets. This approach is a product of our foundational engagement with stakeholders and the change we instituted in how we communicate and collaborate. 


Ashley Frerichs

Resiliency is something the Ashley has become all too familiar with as she navigated family and personal mental health, youth homelessness, foster care and many other trials and tribulations. Fortunately, through great community involvement and resilience Ashley has become an advocate... Read More →

Bertha Fountain

Field Instructor for PROVE (Project for Opportunity in Veterans Education), Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College
Ms. Fountain is a seasoned Social Worker who has had extensive experience in managing programs and providing direct services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. This includes specialized homeless populations (children and youth, those with HIV/AIDS and veterans... Read More →

Genevieve Chandler

As a psychiatric-mental health nursing expert and nurse scientist, a consistent theme of my work has been empowerment beginning with my research on the nursing work environments to my studies on decreasing inpatient coercive practices of seclusion and restraint to resilience with... Read More →

Wen-Chih Tseng

Wen-Chih Tseng is currently a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at National Hsinchu University of Education, Taiwan. His research interests are in positive psychology, resilience and serious play.


Mary Jane O'Conner

Wellness Educator at Holyoke Community College I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) with over 25 years experience working with studentsfrom pre-K through adults who have had trauma histories. As a community college educator, my focus with my students is on strength based... Read More →

Yvette Perreault

AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario

Wednesday June 17, 2015 11:00am - 12:30pm
Shatford Room A&A 2nd Floor, King's College


Resilience & School Programs - Kingsley Hurlington, Zahide Alaca, Ulrike Graf, Sheena Brown, Chris Byron, Sara Truebridge
Resilience & School Programs:

Abstract # 22
Unstuffed! A School-Wide Strength-Based Teacher-Led Mental Health Conference. A Fresh Approach to a Resilience-Focused Mental Health Conference in a Secondary School Setting
Presenter: Kingsley Hurlington Co - Presenters: Ruth Marinelli, Eileen Dahl
An ecological framework of resilience posits the importance of environment in the development of resilience characteristics in individuals.  For teens, school can be one of the most important environments for bolstering resilience (Benard, 2006; Masten and Coatsworth, 1998).   School needs to provide students with an environment that assists them with learning and also facilitates the development of personal resilience characteristics through positive mentorship (Ungar 2004).  This program review explores the impact of a single mental health conference intervention on the strengthening of resilience characteristics in secondary school students.  In response to growing concerns about mental health issues in the adolescent population (Lam, 2014), a mental health conference was created that offered students sessions led by teacher-mentors at their school.  The results of student surveys indicated the significant effect of the intervention on their awareness of their own mental health challenges and that of their peers, increased confidence in negotiating their way to appropriate psychosocial supports, and deepened empathetic response to others in order to create a more positive and inclusive educational environment.  Teacher-mentors also indicated their increased capacity to assist students in navigating mental health supports in their school and community.

Abstract # 37
Resilience in High-Poverty Schools
Presenter: Zahide Alaca
One of the most consistent findings in the educational literature is the strong relationship between students’ socioeconomic backgrounds and their academic achievement. In Canada, performance on standardised assessments continues to be lower in schools serving high concentrations of students living in poverty compared to schools serving students from more affluent families. Interestingly, some schools serving primarily low-income communities have managed to support very high academic achievement among their students. In this presentation, I propose a comparative study of six elementary schools in Ontario, Canada, to understand how high-poverty schools manage to support high academic achievement among their students. Existing research on high-performing, high-poverty schools has focused primarily on identifying good practice at the classroom and school levels, but transferring these practices from school to school has proven difficult. I propose that there may be important factors, such as the social conditions and policy contexts in which each school are embedded, which may influence both the strategies that schools choose to implement and the effectiveness of those strategies. Of particular interest will be whether and how differences in access to non-school learning resources across school communities may play a role in these processes.

Abstract # 44
A “Gestalt”-Based Concept of Supporting Teachers Resilience. Examples of a Community of Practice Group at Osnabrück/Germany
Presenter: Ulrike Graf Co - Presenters: Ulrike Becker, Angie Hart
How best to lead a community of practice (CoP) that helps elementary and primary school teachers create new ways of supporting children with difficulties to develop resilience? And one that will also support the teachers’ in developing their own resilience alongside. At Osnabrück/Germany we are researching a Gestalt approach to addressing these issues. 
So what are the assumptions that we are testing out? First of all, concepts of Gestalt-based supervision should create opportunities for revealing the problems of all those involved, secondly we hope it will open up spaces for perceiving the perspective of the others and feelings of empathy while being aware of one’s own position and feelings; and thirdly it should facilitate broader insights into social and structural resources. 
Fourth is the idea that the Gestalt approach helps us treat everyone in the Community of Practice  with respect. Finally, we are hoping it will facilitate congruence with encounters between teachers, children with difficulties and everybody else involved beyond the CoP.
The Community of Practice Group at Osnabrück is part of the international Project, Imagine, coordinated by the University of Brighton/England. The presentation will present examples of ways to help teachers (re-)discover their individual competence of resilience.

Abstract # 2
Effectiveness of Mindfulness in the Education System, to Reduce Stress and Improve Wellbeing
Presenter: Sheena Brown
A curriculum was designed that combined contemplative practices, neuroscience research and student reflection to explore the concept of authentic happiness.  Our overarching questions were: what is authentic happiness, how may we experience it, and what are the obstacles in our way?  Our hypothesis was that through the introduction of mindfulness, students would learn simple, yet tangible ways to manage their emotions, resolve conflicts, make responsible decisions, manage stress, and ultimately enhance their resilience. By bringing together science, art and contemplative practices through experiential learning, students would gain insight of the importance of mind-body integration in the pursuit of wellbeing, and be provided with the skills and resources to incorporate mindfulness into their lives, should they so choose. Variations of the curriculum were presented to college freshmen, and grade school students. The curriculum aimed to provide social support, through creating a sense of community and trust between participants. Qualitative and quantitative analyses revealed self-reported benefits in: individual health and wellness, benefits in mindfulness practices both in-class and out-of-class, with 44% of students reporting more confidence in handling personal problems, and 44% of students experiencing colds or flu less often than in the previous semester.

Abstract # 4
Using Outdoor Experiential Education to Develop Resiliency in Gifted Students
Presenter: Chris Byron Co - Presenters: Chris Hooper
Intensity is inherent in gifted individuals. It’s often a byproduct of asynchronous development and can hamper both academic achievement, growth and social interactions. By fostering resilience through the experiential education model, students develop hardiness by embracing hardships and reflection.

Abstract # 14
Resilience Begins With Beliefs: Building on Student Strengths for Success in School
Presenter: Sara Truebridge
Resilience research focuses on healthy development and successful learning, especially with young people facing difficult life challenges in their homes, schools, and communities. In schools, teachers’ beliefs and perceptions about student resilience influence classroom practices and student success.  This presentation examines the extent to which an increased understanding of student resilience shapes pedagogical beliefs and practices of educators. An important goal of research in resilience is to transfer such research into practice. Thus, this presenttion concludes by addressing the relationship between resilience research and belief research and the implications of findings for education pre-service programs, professional development programs and everyday practice.

avatar for Chris Byron

Chris Byron

Teacher, Westmount Charter School
From working with adults in the NWT to special populations on whitewater canoe trips, I have been guiding in natural settings for almost four decades. Once getting my teaching certificate, with an experiential education focus, I began to integrate my guiding experiences into the classroom... Read More →

Kingsley Hurlington

York Region District School Board
Kingsley Hurlington is a doctoral candidate at Trent University. He has authored textbooks related to Canadian Geography. His doctoral work focuses on resilience and communities, with a special focus on rural contexts. For this work, he draws upon his varied experiences working with... Read More →

Sarah Truebridge

Sara Truebridge, Ed.D. is an Education Consultant with experience in research, policy, and practice. Her book, Resilience Begins with Beliefs: Building on Student Strengths for Success in School, published by Teachers College Press (2014), was endorsed by Michael Rutter and Suniya... Read More →

Sheena Brown

Sheena graduated with a PhD in Zoology in 2000, and a Masters in Public Health in 2014. Sheena has worked as assistant lecturer in Zoology, Neuroscience, and Public Health. From 2003 until 2013, Sheena worked as Staff Scientist in the Neuroscience Department at the UA, and currently... Read More →

Ulrike Graf

Ulrike Graf, PhD, is a Full Professor of Education at Primary School Age (University of Osnabrück/Germany) and Head of the Research Center in Primary School Education at the Institute for Early Childhood Education and Development of Lower Saxony.She works on pedagogy diagnosis, emphasizing... Read More →

Zahide Alaca

Zahide is completing her Master’s in Social Work at Carleton University, with a concentration in social administration and policy. She is interested in understanding the disparities in educational outcomes among children and youth. In her doctoral studies, Zahide plans to examine... Read More →


Ulrike Becker

MA at University of Bremen Ulrike Becker is a teacher of German / English at grammar and secondary schools in Bremen, lecturer in various pedagogical seminars at the University of Bremen, grad. Gestaltpädagogin (“Gestalt pedagogy”) and supervisor in teacher training at LIS (Landesinstitut... Read More →
avatar for Eileen Dahl

Eileen Dahl

Psychotherapist, Spiritual Care Professional, Consultant, Speaker
Eileen Dahl is a Registered Psychotherapist, Certified in Thanatology - death, dying and bereavement (CT) and a certified spiritual care practitioner / hospital chaplain. She has experience working in oncology and palliative care, trauma, mental health and cardiac intensive care... Read More →
avatar for Angie Hart

Angie Hart

University of Brighton / Boingboing
Angie Hart is Professor of Child, Family and Community Health at the University of Brighton and has been working on resilience research and practice for 10 years. She is an advisor to England’s Big Lottery Fund, Angie runs boingboing, a not for profit undertaking resilience research... Read More →

Chris Hooper

Adminstrator at Westmount Charter School Chris Hooper is a administrator at Westmount Charter School in Calgary, Ab. He has a decade of experience in gifted education. He received a masters in kinesiology at the University of Calgary and is currently working on a doctorate of resilience... Read More →

Ruth Marinelli

Teacher at York Region District School Board Ruth Marinelli is a secondary school teacher with the York Region District School Board where she works with academically and socially vulnerable students. She is a Masters of Education candidate at OISE.

Wednesday June 17, 2015 11:00am - 12:30pm
Boardroom A&A 2nd Floor, King's College


Resilience in Cultural Context - Linda Theron
Abstract #58
Culture, Context, and Resilience: Complexities and Caveats
Presenter: Linda Theron Co - Presenters: Robbie Gilligan, Kelly Dean Schwartz, Angelique van Rensburg, Tammlyn Jefferis
In this discussion, facilitated by Prof. Linda Theron, we draw on the findings of three independent projects, that all included African children (9 - 19 years), to challenge unsophisticated and idealistic understandings of how culture and context matter for resilience. To this end, Prof. Robbie Gilligan will highlight what the qualitative findings of the Bamboo Project teach about the resilience processes of Ethiopian children who have been sexually abused/exploited. Dr. Kelly Dean Schwarz will report on a quantitative PYD study that offers insight into the developmental assets of youth living in a rural South African township. Informed by a SEM analysis of the quantitative data of the Pathways to Resilience Project, South Africa, Angelique van Rensburg will foreground the differential resilience processes of two comparable groups of youth from the same traditionally-African social ecology. Using visual participatory data from the same project, Tamlynn Jefferis will show how socio-cultural context enables, but also constrains, the resilience processes of black girls challenged by poverty, violence, and sexual abuse.

avatar for Linda Theron

Linda Theron

Professor, North-West University
Linda Theron is a full professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria; an associate of the Centre for the Study of Resilience, University of Pretoria; and an extraordinary professor in Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University... Read More →


Robbie Gilligan

Prof at Trinity College Robbie Gilligan. Robbie is Professor of Social Work and Social Policy, at Trinity College Dublin where he is also Associate Director (and co-founder) of the Children's Research Centre. He is also an (honorary) Research Fellow at SFI – The Danish Nationa... Read More →

Tamlynn Jefferis

Tamlynn Jefferis, MA (Research Psychology), is a registered counsellor with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. She is a doctoral candidate in the Optentia Research Focus Area, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus
avatar for Angelique van Rensburg

Angelique van Rensburg

Post-doctoral Research Fellow, North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus, Optentia Research Focus Area
Angelique van Rensburg, PhD (Educational Psychology), is a registered psychological counsellor (independent practice) with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, a member of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PSYSSA) and a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at Optentia... Read More →

Kelly Schwartz

University of Calgary
Dr at University of CalgaryDr. Kelly Dean Schwartz is Associate Professor in the School and Applied Child Psychology program and Director, U of C Applied Psychological and Educational Services (UCAPES), an on-campus clinic serving children and families Calgary and area. He has a Ph.D... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 11:00am - 12:30pm
Alumni Hall NAB 1st Floor, King's College


Resilience: An International Perspective - Kathryn Robertson, Karen Elliott, Charles Mphande, Alex Pessoa, Serena Isaacs, Steve Reid
Resilience: An International Perspective

Abstract #11
Using resilience concepts to improve client outcomes in East Timor
Presenter: Kathryn Robertson
Timor-Leste is a resource poor country which endured more than 20 years of human rights abuses under Occupation by Indonesia. Post-Independence, there has been considerable work done to raise attention about trauma and violence against women and to develop laws, policies and services to respond to violence. While there has been progress, there are many challenges to make these systems really work for women and children who experience abuse. A four year program supported by the Australian Government is now trying to strengthen services through a greater focus on outcomes for clients. In this environment where there is limited access to services for a largely rural population and service providers are learning on the job without much professional training, we are looking at how to use approaches which are informed by resilience and well-being concepts. This may will include using resilience as a guide in assessment, provision of services and monitoring of outcomes. We are interested to look at approaches in other places (for example with First Nations communities) which could be contextualized to the customary and collective nature of culture and everyday life. This experience will be presented through Facilitated Discussion and Brief Presentation.

Abstract #31
Cultivating Resilience in Organizations and Communities: A Collaborative Process and Planning Tool for Intercultural Leaders
Presenter: Karen Elliot
This facilitated discussion provides an introduction to a practical, evidence-based, collaborative leadership process and tool that intercultural leaders can use to guide discussions in communities and organizations. (See visual for process - end of abstract)   The process itself incorporates principles of community building for health (systems thinking), community engagement, and collaborative leadership. The visual for the process is a table framework that facilitates introduction of concepts as follows:  elements of culture and individual resilience (people, place), resilience science (adapt to education needs of audience at-hand), contributors to community and organizational resilience, equity and inclusion, systems thinking, stress, change adversity. The tool is useful for guiding discussions about resilience policy/advocacy/education. It is vital to use a process which is relevant to the leaders at-hand, adaptable in diverse settings, and which incorporates concepts of individual, community, and organizational resilience (and emphasizes their interconnectedness) in the process itself. The equity/inclusion portion of the visual creates an opportunity to discuss the social determinants of health, health equity, mental health, interventions, literacy, social competence and connectedness.

Abstract #53
Linking or Delinking: Resilience and Social Capital in an Unfriendly Environment for Emerging African Communities in Australia
Presenter: Charles Mphande
This paper investigates how informal networks enable the bonding function of social capital within emerging Sudanese and Horn of African communities in the context of Australian society’s continuing environment of racism and misunderstanding towards African-Australians. . Framed by social ecology (Bottrell and Armstrong 2012), and critical discourse theories (Phillips and Jorgensen 2002) we examine multi-layering of informal networks as a means of maximisation of in-group resources against the hostile backdrop of the Howard Government’s focus on the perceived integrative deficits of Sudanese (African) humanitarian immigrants. Given the unwelcome environment the Howard Government created for these recent immigrants (Dhanji 2009), the paper adopts the view that community resilience by in-group bonding, as opposed to linking with wider Australian society, was a selective, strategic and practical means of survival that bypassed formal community, government and non-governmental organisations as largely irrelevant. We focus especially on examining government’s interpretations of such phenomena as failure to integrate, a position that led to limiting African humanitarian immigration. The paper further discusses the vibrancy and effectiveness of informal networks and argues for the promise they offer for addressing needs and challenges of emerging communities.

Abstract #16
Research and Intervention on Resilience Applied to Latin American Context
Presenter: Alex Pessoa
The research and theoretical frameworks on resilience are mostly coming from the Northern Hemisphere. My proposal is to argue that these studies ignore the particularities of Latin American countries and neglect model of social inequality as the main element for the exposition of young adolescent to indicators of psychosocial risk. I advocate the establishment of collaborative networks in order to create interventional practices and research methodologies that highlight these aspects. In this sense, I believe it is relevant to build a theoretical model to challenge hegemonic notions of resilience that has no applicability in Latin America and do not collaborate in disruption of oppressive social structures historically built under a model which prevails inequality and disenfranchisement of some segments. The universities and researchers interested on resilience theory must join forces to design a consistent epistemological frameworks for the groups belonging to this reality. Furthermore, I understand that the policies and interventional programs should target practices that allow emancipation and the breaking of cycles that perpetuate vulnerability across generations. The audience contributions may allow the beginning of the articulation around this reflective process and may bring implications for the field.

Abstract #47
Understanding Family Resilience in a Rural Community in the Western Cape: A Needs Assessment Pilot Study
Presenter: Serena Issacs
The purpose of this paper is to report on the findings of a pilot study in which the aim was to identify the family resilience needs of community members in the rural community in the Western Cape, South Africa.  The questionnaire utilised was the Family Resilience Assessment Scale by Sixbey (2005); an English-language questionnaire which assesses the resilience needs of a family unit.  Since the scale was developed in English, the scale was adapted in the language spoken by 96% of the community (Statistics South Africa, 2012): Afrikaans.  Pilot testing was essential in establishing psychometric properties and identifying any inconsistencies or ambiguity during the adaptation process.  Trained fieldworkers then commenced door-to-door data collection and reached 82 participants.  Preliminary analysis shows that some items were misinterpreted based on translation and need to be further adapted for the main data collection in the next year.  Fieldworker feedback also highlighted the cathartic effect of completing such a questionnaire; the local NGO has since increased the number of people registered for their family discussion group.  This pilot study is forms part of a larger study which has the ultimate goal of developing a community-based programme for strengthening family resilience using a participatory action approach.

Abstract #55
Resilience in South African Health Professionals Undergoing Compulsory Service
Presenter: Steve Reid
This paper investigates how informal networks enable the bonding function of social capital within emerging Sudanese and Horn of African communities in the context of Australian society’s continuing environment of racism and misunderstanding towards African-Australians. . Framed by social ecology (Bottrell and Armstrong 2012), and critical discourse theories (Phillips and Jorgensen 2002) we examine multi-layering of informal networks as a means of maximisation of in-group resources against the hostile backdrop of the Howard Government’s focus on the perceived integrative deficits of Sudanese (African) humanitarian immigrants. Given the unwelcome environment the Howard Government created for these recent immigrants (Dhanji 2009), the paper adopts the view that community resilience by in-group bonding, as opposed to linking with wider Australian society, was a selective, strategic and practical means of survival that bypassed formal community, government and non-governmental organisations as largely irrelevant. We focus especially on examining government’s interpretations of such phenomena as failure to integrate, a position that led to limiting African humanitarian immigration. The paper further discusses the vibrancy and effectiveness of informal networks and argues for the promise they offer for addressing needs and challenges of emerging communities.

avatar for Alex Pessoa

Alex Pessoa

PhD Candidate, UNESP
PhD candidate linked to Faculty of Science and Tecnology, University from Sao Paulo (UNESP), Sao Paulo, Brazil. In the last years the researcher developed studies and interventions in the field of childhood and youth' protection. His papers and book chapters are related to sexual... Read More →

Charles Mphande

Victoria university
Charles Mphande is a Senior Lecturer in the College of Arts and a member of the Mobilities, Transitions and Resilience Network of the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing at Victoria University, Melbourne. His empirical research has focused on resilience as individual or group... Read More →

Karen Elliott

Cross-sector leadership development professional. Seventeen years as a public health professional. Specialized in collaborative leadership, coalition building (immunizations,vaccine safety, nutrition), health systems, health disparities, equity and inclusion, intercultural communication... Read More →

Kathryn Robertson

Kathryn Robertson is a Canadian trained social worker and has had experience in service provision for women, children and other vulnerable groups, in Canada and Asia. In Timor-Leste she helped to establish the first counseling and medical support service for family violence and sexual... Read More →
avatar for Serena Isaacs

Serena Isaacs

Lecturer, University of the Western Cape - Psychology
Miss Serena Isaacs is a Research Psychologist registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and is a lecturer at the University of the Western Cape. She has published in the field of children and adolescent wellbeing, community violence and substance abuse. She is... Read More →

Steve Reid

Steve Reid is a family physician with a background in rural health and a doctorate in education, currently director of Primary Health Care at the University of Cape Town. He is involved in medical education and human resources for health, and is particularly interested in the development... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 11:00am - 12:30pm
ScotiaBank Room NAB 3rd Floor, King's College


School Programs - Alicia Barrett, Maureen Thompson, Darlene Klyne, Jo Robins, Michelle Koay, Ella Simmons
School Programs:

Abstract #43
Nurturing Resilience through Student Engagement and Program Adaptability. Case Study 1 in Dropout Prevention: North Winnipeg
Presenter: Darlene Klyne Co - Presenter: Konrad Glogowski
The Pathways to Education program, founded in Toronto’s Regent Park in 2001 to address high youth disengagement and dropout rates in one of Canada’s most disadvantaged communities, has been replicated throughout Canada and is now reaching well over 5,000 high school students in 17 communities across the country.
This case study explores one adaptation of the Pathways program and the role that program staff, local partner organizations (schools, community organizations, service providers), and program participants play in building strong relationships, safe spaces, and a sense of belonging - all of which, in turn, help nurture resilience and academic success. Since high school dropout is a long and complex process and the risk factors are very diverse, effective programming must help students navigate a variety of challenges as well as toxic environments, relationships, and experiences. While the program’s four programmatic pillars remain the same throughout the 17 communities where it has been implemented, its adaptability ensures that local staff, partners, and program beneficiaries can play a key role in ensuring program success. This case study focuses on how program adaptability, local staff, community partners, and students ensure the centrality of the youth experience, and, in turn, nurture resilience and help stop potentially disabling “significant markers” from assailing students as they progress through high school and adolescence.

Abstract #59
Nurturing Resilience through Student Engagement and Program Adaptability: A Survey of What Works
Presenter: Maureen Thompson
The Pathways to Education program, founded in Toronto’s Regent Park in 2001 to address high youth disengagement and dropout rates in one of Canada’s most disadvantaged communities, has been replicated throughout Canada and is now reaching well over 5,000 high school students in 17 communities across the country.
This case study explores one adaptation of the Pathways program and the role that program staff, local partner organizations (schools, community organizations, service providers), and program participants play in building strong relationships, safe spaces, and a sense of belonging - all of which, in turn, help nurture resilience and academic success. Since high school dropout is a long and complex process and the risk factors are very diverse, effective programming must help students navigate a variety of challenges as well as toxic environments, relationships, and experiences. While the program’s four programmatic pillars remain the same throughout the 17 communities where it has been implemented, its adaptability ensures that local staff, partners, and program beneficiaries can play a key role in ensuring program success. This case study focuses on how program adaptability, local staff, community partners, and students ensure the centrality of the youth experience, and, in turn, nurture resilience and help stop potentially disabling “significant markers” from assailing students as they progress through high school and adolescence.

Abstract #64
Nurturing Resilience through Student Engagement and Program Adaptability: Case Study 2 in Dropout Prevention: Spryfield, Nova Scotia
Presenter: Alicia Barrett Co-Presenter: Derek Smith, Konrad Glogowski
The Pathways to Education program, founded in Toronto’s Regent Park in 2001 to address high youth disengagement and dropout rates in one of Canada’s most disadvantaged communities, has been replicated throughout Canada and is now reaching well over 5,000 high school students in 17 communities across the country.
This case study explores one adaptation of the Pathways program and the role that program staff, local partner organizations (schools, community organizations, service providers), and program participants play in building strong relationships, safe spaces, and a sense of belonging - all of which, in turn, help nurture resilience and academic success. Since high school dropout is a long and complex process and the risk factors are very diverse, effective programming must help students navigate a variety of challenges as well as toxic environments, relationships, and experiences. While the program’s four programmatic pillars remain the same throughout the 17 communities where it has been implemented, its adaptability ensures that local staff, partners, and program beneficiaries can play a key role in ensuring program success. This case study focuses on how program adaptability, local staff, community partners, and students ensure the centrality of the youth experience, and, in turn, nurture resilience and help stop potentially disabling “significant markers” from assailing students as they progress through high school and adolescence.

Abstract #12
Think Good Feel Good - A Whole School Approach
Presenter: Jo Robins
Think Good, Feel Good is a school based programme within primary and secondary schools in Shropshire. The core aim is to develop a whole school approach to supporting and developing resilience through six core components. Those are; by increasing awareness of mental health/resilience/health ill health, by developing a common language for children to express thoughts and feelings, by supporting schools to set up projects in schools that build confidence and self-esteem, by delivering an evidence based training programme, by access to high quality resources, by strengthening links to local mental health services. The programme is supported by a steering group, a small team and through a wider network of practitioners with interests, or expertise in mental or children's wellbeing. The success is borne out in the children who participate in the interventions, in the school staff and in the schools who have embedded the programme in their everyday practice. Feedback from children, staff, local clinicians and Ofsted has been very positive. Quotes from children include "It's really helped to know others worry like I do", when I feel angry or sad I know what I can do to make me feel happy". Teachers say "It's great to be able to help the children with coping strategies in school".

Abstract #24
Working With Students To Improve Resilience Within The School
Presenter: Michelle Koay
In Singapore, the schools recognise that the importance of the social-emotional well-being of students in order to facilitate their development and learning. In most local schools, the school counsellors are responsible for reaching out to the students through prevention and education talks and workshops related to building resilience and improving their mental well-being, with the support of the teachers in the classroom setting. The teachers are trained to provide psychological first-aid for students who require support and to refer more serious cases to the school counsellors for further assessment and treatment.
However, in Secondary Schools, another potential resource to be tapped on is working with the students. This paper will explore how the potential and strengths of adolescents can be harnessed to improve the mental well-being of the students. The paper will elaborate on how the school leverages on peer groups to reach out to their peers who need emotional help and/or support. The paper will also show the school’s efforts to inspire the creative energies of the youth to raise awareness about mental health issues among their peers. The paper will share examples of how students use social media and other school-wide initiatives and activities to influence their peers.

Abstract #35
Show and Tell: Explicitly Teaching the Skills of Resilience in the Classroom
Presenter: Ella Simmons
Every day, children are faced with classroom and playground challenges that require social skills, emotional regulation and problem-solving. There is an assumption that students present to school with the foundation skills for resilience, and will develop these skills further through incidental teaching and participation in the school environment. Some students however will require a more explicit approach to learn the skills needed to establish positive relationships and manage challenging situations. Explicit instruction has been firmly established as an effective method of improving literacy and numeracy outcomes for our students which poses the question: Can we approach social and emotional learning in the same way? As a teacher, I am advocating for personal and social skills to be recognised as more than a 'general capability' within the Australian curriculum. There is a need for schools to adopt comprehensive programmes that focus on the explicit instruction of social and emotional skills combined with opportunities to practice in a supportive and structured environment. By approaching the development of these skills in a formal and coordinated way, we will ensure that all children leave primary school equipped with the skills for lifelong resiliency...


Alicia Barrett

Student Parent Support Worker, Chebucto Connections (Pathways to Education)
I have worked for Chebucto Connections since 2013 as a Student Parent Support Worker with Pathways to Education in Spryfield, Nova Scotia. I grew up in Halifax and completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Dalhousie University and Bachelor of Secondary Education at Mount Saint... Read More →

Darlene Klyne

Director, Pathways Winnipeg at Community Education Development Association Darlene Klyne is a Cree and Lakota mother, wife and grandmother. Darlene is passionate about two things-the value of education and the wellness of the Aboriginal community. At the age of 44 she pursued her... Read More →
avatar for Ella Simmons

Ella Simmons

Teacher, Dunsborough Primary School
Ella Simmons is a 25 year old primary school teacher from Dunsborough, Western Australia. She graduated from Curtin University in 2011 with the prestigious Miles Medal Award for Excellence in Education for receiving the highest overall mark in her undergraduate degree. Ella has a... Read More →
avatar for Jo Robins

Jo Robins

Consultant in Public Health, Shropshire Council
Jo is a public health consultant with many years experience of working in the NHS and in local government leading and developing health improvement programmes for children and adults. During her career she has applied community development skills at strategic, operational and community... Read More →

Maureen Thompson

Maureen Thompson has been working in leadership positions in the health promotion and community health sectors for over 20 years.  She started her career in drug prevention, international development and human rights, community development and health promotion.  She held the position... Read More →
avatar for Michelle Koay

Michelle Koay

School Counsellor, Raffles Girls' School
Michelle Koay was trained as a lay counsellor when she was an engineering officer in the Republic of Singapore Air Force. After obtaining her Master of Social Science (Counselling), she embarked on her journey as a counsellor in the Singapore Armed Forces Counselling Centre, helping... Read More →

avatar for Konrad Glogowski

Konrad Glogowski

Director, Research and Knowledge Mobilization, Pathways to Education Canada
As Director of Research and Knowledge Mobilization at Pathways to Education Canada, Konrad Glogowski is responsible for developing and implementing a long-term national research agenda and strategy for the organization, and providing internal research support to better understand... Read More →
avatar for Derek Smith

Derek Smith

Student Parent Support Worker, Chebucto Connections, Pathways to Education Spryfield
Derek has worked at Chebucto Connections as a Student Parent Support Worker for the Pathways to Education program since September 2013. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Saint Mary's University and a Bachelor of Education degree from Mount Saint Vincent University... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 11:00am - 12:30pm
KTS Lecture Hall NAB 2nd Floor, King's College


Building Resilience In Children and Youth -Rebecca Fairchild, Jennifer First, Carolyn Mak, Madelyn Labella, Myrna McNitt, Gerald Jacobs
Building Resilience In Children And Youth:

Abstract # 19
Strengthening Relationships: Music Therapy Performances With Pre-Adolescent Children And Families Living In Crisis
Presenter: Rebecca Fairchild
Living in crisis due to homelessness and family violence often leads to a lack of positive health resources, broken relationships and feelings of isolation for pre-adolescent children.  Engaging in creative mediums provides an outlet for children to express their emotions, connect with others and developing healthy coping styles (McFerran, 2010). This paper describes a qualitative research project exploring the experience of sharing a music therapy performance for children and their families. Three pre-adolescent children participated in a 14-week music therapy group that culminated in the sharing of a musical performance with their families. Following the performance, interviews were conducted with the participants in the program as well as their parents. An interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith, Flowers & Larkin, 2009) identified individual and shared themes, and the findings will be discussed. 

Abstract # 20
Enhancing Resilience In Children And Adolescents Using The Resilience And Coping Intervention (RCI)
Presenter: Jennifer First
The Resilience and Coping Intervention (RCI) is a group intervention designed for use with school-aged children and adolescents to help participants identify thoughts, feelings, and coping strategies related to psychological, behavioral, and relationship issues following a traumatic or other problematic experience or event in the context of developmental challenges and the usual stresses of daily life. RCI is a coping exercise that engages a group of children or adolescents in a dialogue about issues that may be difficult to discuss, encouraging them to share their thoughts and feelings about their experiences and to identify appropriate and successful coping strategies. RCI is a strength-based intervention that can be administered in a single session by mental health professionals, teachers, parents, caregivers, or other adults in the community that have been trained in conducting the interview.  Results from a non-controlled before and after study revealed that participating children and youth (N=74) reported increased hope about the future, improved coping skills, and a better overall ability to handle emotions and behaviors.

Abstract # 25
Kids Help Phone's Online And Mobile Tools
Presenter: Carolyn Mak
This Facilitated Discussion will present two of Kids Help Phone’s online and mobile tools that support youth mental health and well-being; our mobile app, Always There, and interactive map-based tool, Resources Around Me. Always There was launched in December, 2012 and has five features including a Feelings Log, Stress Buster, vetted information from our Teens' websites, as well as the ability to reach a professional counsellor at the touch of a button. Launched in January, 2014, Resources Around Me puts the power of Kids Help Phone’s Community Resource Database – which our counsellors use every day to help young people connect to services offering direct support in their communities – in the hands of youth themselves. By offering these tools in English and French to young people, free, and available 24/7, we are empowering them to explore information, services, and resources that work best for them in a medium with which they are most familiar. We believe that this helps them build skills to support themselves when they are faced with challenges and encourages help-seeking.

Abstract # 8
Promoting Resilience By Improving Children's Sleep: A Pilot Intervention For High-Risk Families
Presenter: Madelyn Labella
Authors: Madelyn H. Labella, Andrew J. Barnes, Amanda W. Kalstabakken, Janelle Leppa, Ann S. Masten
Poverty has been linked to sleep disruption, which is in turn associated with behavior problems and poor physical health (Bates et al., 2002; Brouillette et al., 2011). Thus, sleep disturbance may be a key mechanism for effects of poverty on child development. In a collaborative effort to promote resilience by improving sleep, university and community partners developed a novel intervention to boost healthy sleep habits in low-income families, with potential benefits for children’s sleep quality, self-regulation, and family routines. 
Pilot participants are twelve 4-8 year old children and their biological mothers, all residing in transitional housing. Families are predominantly African American, led by single parents who are currently unemployed. Targeted outcomes are family routines, household chaos, and children’s sleep, self-regulation, and behavior, assessed by parent report, sleep actigraphy, and executive function performance. 
At baseline, children’s behavior problems were associated with exposure to stress (recent and lifetime), household chaos was inversely related to family routines, and sleep problems were negatively associated with income. Sleep data acquired throughout the intervention, results from follow-up testing, and parent feedback will be presented. Preliminary evidence of feasibility and acceptability, along with implications for community collaboration, will be discussed.  

Abstract # 52
Children In Foster Care: A Positive Experience Or A Threat To Resilience?
Presenter: Myrna McNitt Co - Presenters: Kathleen Kufeldt
Children receive protection through interventions delivered by formal systems of care including use of foster care.  Children have the right to be linked to their family and community, and receive developmentally appropriate interventions to assure for their protection and well-being.  In child protection the rights of the child are best carried out when services are child centered, family focused, and community based.  All too often child protection services are loosely organized and constructed; and are reactive rather than proactively planned.  Poor outcomes in foster care been well documented in areas of education, employability, substance misuse and early parenting.  Lyons and Rogers (2004) indicate that half of children in the system have clinically significant emotional or behavioral problems…this high level of mental health problems makes the child welfare system a behavioral health care system. There is a failure in child welfare to use evidence based practices drawing from services which are clinically based and scientifically researched. (p.134)  All of this undermines the resiliency of the foster child. To reduce risks and promote resiliency, services must be holistic and address the child’s normative development in all areas.  Assessment and Action Records are evidenced based and promote healthy child development and resiliency.

Abstract #335
Youth Transitioning from Care:  A Youth Development Approach strengthening Resilience
Presenter: Gerald Jacobs 
Mamelani Projects is a Non-Profit in Cape Town, South Africa.  Mamelani’s Youth Development Programme works with young people transitioning from residential Child and Youth Care Centers. We have developed an approach that capacitates young people to deal with realities post-care. Research has shown that without adequate support, this target group faces poor outcomes in adult life. We are working with young people, and nurturing the environments into which they return to strengthen practices and service provision towards pathway planning for smoother transitions. We have drawn lessons from International research (local research in this area is still very limited), and have been encouraged to see the approach is well suited to address the contextual issues in the sector and also aligned with International best practice We would like to share our experiences of developing an approach – one that is a contextually sensitive and a South African model for providing transitional support. The approach outlines a positive youth development practice that is strengths-based and collaborative. Focus is placed on building networks of support and marking growth through ceremonies and rites of passage. 


Carolyn Mak

Carolyn Mak is the Director of Knowledge Mobilization and Program Development. She holds a Masters of Social Work, and brings years of experience as a school social worker and individual counsellor in children’s mental health and family service agencies. Besides working directly... Read More →
avatar for Gerald Jacobs

Gerald Jacobs

Program Manager, Mamelani Projects
Gerald Jacobs is the Program Manager at Mamelani Projects in Cape Town, South Africa. The program, advocates for the needs of youth transitioning from alternative care, supports local institutions by strengthening their transitional support services and walks alongside youth as they... Read More →
avatar for Jennifer First

Jennifer First

Mental Health Program Manager, Disaster and Community Crisis Center
Jennifer First, MA, MSW is the Mental Health Program Manager for the Disaster and Community Crisis Center at the University of Missouri. Her clinical experience includes providing services for families and children experiencing homelessness, poverty, domestic violence, sexual assault... Read More →

Madelyn Labella

Madelyn is a third year graduate student in the joint child development and clinical science program at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. She is a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow whose interests include intervening to promote healthy... Read More →

Myrna McNitt

International Foster Care Organization & Lake Michigan College
Myrna is on the Board of the International Foster Care Organization and chairs its Training & Development Committee. She travels extensively and has earned an international reputation for the quality of her teaching and training. Work experience includes specialized foster care in... Read More →
avatar for Rebecca Fairchild

Rebecca Fairchild

Registered Music Therapist; PhD Candidate, Bethany; The University of Melbourne
Rebecca Fairchild is a Registered Music Therapist from Australia. She works part time as a music therapy group facilitator at Bethany, supporting children and families living in crisis due to homelessness and family violence. Rebecca is a PhD candidate at The University of Melbourne... Read More →


Kathleen Kufeldt

Adjunct Professor at University of New BrunswickKathleen has worked in a children's residence, front line child protection, fostered teenagers, and has an international reputation for foster care research. Academic positions include Assistant Deanship in the Faculty of Social Work... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Seminar 7 A&A Lower Floor, King's College


Mental Health & Therapy -Lynne Scrimgeour, Francine Julien-Gauthier, Sharon McCloskey, Josh Cameron, Sarah Henderson, Eva Adriana Wilson
Mental Health & Therapy:

Abstract # 18
Building Resilience For Adults With Mental Health Problems
Presenter: Josh Cameron Co - Presenters: Mair Reardon
This presentation reports on the design, implementation and research evaluation of a co-created resilience building programme for adults with mental health problems. The programme comprises 8 weekly sessions developed by a partnership of a peer trainer, a mental health practitioner and an academic. Peer trainers are people with lived experience of mental health problems who are have been recruited and are supported by the local Recovery College which is an established initiative involving a partnership of the health service providers and service user organisations. 
The programme content drew on an adapted version of the Resilience Framework (Hart et al 2007) and a range of other resilience tools and models alongside the personal, practice and research expertise of the facilitators. It aimed to increase participants’ resilience to respond on an individual and collective basis to the adversities they face using internal and external resources and supports. The project is one site of a wider multi-national UK research council funded project which aims to explore the potential for community university partnerships to make better and more resilient collective futures.  It also aims to develop resilience theory and practice particularly as they apply to communities and the potential to challenge sources of adversity.

Abstract # 21
Using Resilient Therapy In Practice: Family-Based Resilience Interventions
Presenter: Sarah Henderson
Newport Mind and boingboing have been researching the use of Resilient Therapy over 18 months. We have been measuring and evaluating the resilience framework and its effectiveness in our work with young people and families in the community of Newport. With a focus on mental wellbeing, the resilience framework has been applied to practice with families utilising an action research approach. All aspects of resilience theory and practice has been, and continues to be, explored during the day to day practice of the team, shaping the support provision for families who experience complex adversity, alongside dealing with mental health problems. The framework has been adapted to include a holistic view of resilience within a family unit, highlighting the importance of group dynamics and relationships for the promotion and sustainability of resilience. Key input of families has enabled our practice to focus on the operational challenges that families face on a day to day basis. ‘By designing the services that met the needs of our son and us as his parents, were invaluable. This service is a need’ - a parent of a young person experiencing low mood/ self-esteem. Families highlighted the ease of use of the framework due to its design; however highlight the need for adaptation of the terminology for use as a family unit. The partnership provides opportunities for practitioners to focus support provision on theory based interventions that develop resilience in family units.

Abstract # 29
A Framework helping people move from Helpless to Healthy
Presenter: Dr. Eva Adriana Wilson
We are biologically designed to be healthy and we are self-correcting by nature.  The only way we have to tell us if we are on track or off track is through negative feedback. 
If we don’t eat for many hours, we get a stomach-ache, and if we ignore it…it gets worse. If we step on a nail...it hurts, and if we ignore it, it gets worse and maybe even life threatening. 
It is the same with our emotional life…We get anxious when interacting with someone who is mistreating us as a way to signal that something is not ok and take action to be healthy and safe again.
If we learned to ignore our strong and healthy self, it turns into Anxiety, Depression, or unhealthy coping (ie. Eating disorders, drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, cutting, etc).
When this happens, we get stuck focusing on the unhealthy coping as the problem. Sometimes we need medication to help us do the work, but medication alone won’t make us happy if we don’t address the situation that is causing the distress.
It is by focusing on this framework we can help people move from HELPLESS to HEALTHY, from PANIC to PRODUCTIVITY.  

Abstract # 27
Balancing Risk and Responsibility: The Fulcrum for Resilience in Children with Autism
Presenter: Lynne Scrimgeour 
For families parenting a child with Autism, especially when the diagnosis co-occurs with mental health disorders, it can be challenging to balance the level of risk and responsibility that researchers and professionals believe can strengthen resilience. However, successful outcomes in goals targeting 'responsibility' have been a platform for families to consider goals that may involve a higher level of 'risk'. Increasing the student's level of responsibility in areas of daily living, communication, socialisation and learning requires skills in planning, flexible thinking and self-control. We understand that children are not born with broad executive functioning and self-regulation skills. We also acknowledge that children with Autism can have specific challenges in these areas which in turn have implications for resiliency. For students with Autism, being able to complete tasks more independently builds self-identity. This knowledge of self sends a powerful message to others. If we explicitly link the achievement of small yet defined roles and levels of responsibility to resilience, this has the potential to increase family and teacher engagement in therapeutic goals. We need to continue the conversation around dignity of risk so that families and students can advocate for future services that centre on the capacity of the whole person.

Abstract # 48
Strategies To Develop And Consolidate Resilience For People With Intellectual Disabilities
Presenter: Francine Julien-Gauthier Co - Presenters: Sarah Martin-Roy, Colette Jourdan-Ionescu
Resilience is the ability to deal with a condition or a particular context and to consider the future with confidence and positiveness. For people with intellectual disabilities, resilience is to present the best possible development adressing specific adversities that are encountered in order to aim well-being and a full social integration (Jourdan-Ionescu & Julien-Gauthier, 2011). This paper’s intention is to identify factors that promote resilience for people with intellectual disabilities as well as strategies to facilitate its development and consolidation. The study is based on the theoretical framework of assisted resilience, which favors a support intervention focused on strengthening the capacity of people with real support, responsive to their aspirations and needs. The instrument used to assess resilience is The Resilience Scale (Wagnild & Young, 1993, adapted by Julien-Gauthier, Jourdan-Ionescu & Ruel, 2013). The results identify five elements that promote, facilitate and strengthen resilience for people with intellectual disabilities. Strategies are proposed: adapting one’s educational intervention plan (EIP) and improving the communication and interaction of the individual with the environment and its community members.

Abstract # 51
Growing Resilience In Parents Of Children With Complex Health Needs: The Development And Testing Of A Structured Support Programme
Presenter: Sharon McCloskey
Caring for children with complex healthcare needs places parents under additional strains compared to other parents with regard to their physical and emotional health, relationships and economic welfare.  Yet great variation exists in how parents and families facing similar circumstances cope, with some exhibiting negative consequences of caring while others cope well and thrive. How families cope is linked to resilience. Research confirms the potential for resilience to be enhanced and group based interventions are one approach through which this may be promoted.  Through this facilitated discussion I will outline the work undertaken to develop a programme with this group of parents (phase 1 of a 2 part study).  A pragmatic research design was applied with adherence to the main principles and social justice goals of transformative research.  The programme was developed through an iterative series of workshops and focus groups with parents which explored the demands they experience, what helps them to cope and what they would consider helpful in a programme.  Their views have been linked with existing theory and research outcomes to develop a programme which takes account of the research evidence but has been shaped by the population it seeks to help. It will be tested in phase 2.

avatar for Eva Adriana Wilson

Eva Adriana Wilson

Psychiatrist and Director, Inspired Living Medical
Dr. Wilson runs an innovative Psychiatric practice that promotes wellness, not just the absence of disease ,through coaching people to listen to their strong and healthy self and empowering them to live their values. She works with youth and adults and has also published a children's... Read More →
avatar for Francine Julien-Gauthier

Francine Julien-Gauthier

Professor in the Education Faculty, Université Laval
Professor at Université Laval, Francine Julien-Gauthier, Ph. D., is professor in the Education Faculty at Université Laval. Regular researcher for Centre de recherche et d’intervention sur la réussite scolaire (CRIRES), she conducts studies on the education of individuals with... Read More →
avatar for Josh Cameron

Josh Cameron

Principal Lecturer, University of Brighton/BoingBoing
Principal Lecturer at University of BrightonJosh Cameron was an occupational therapist in adult mental health services before becoming a senior lecturer in occupational therapy at the University of Brighton. He became interested in resilience while researching return-to-work experiences... Read More →
avatar for Lynne Scrimgeour

Lynne Scrimgeour

Speech Pathologist Team Leader, Autism Association of Western Australia
Lynne Scrimgeour is a Speech Pathologist with over 30 years experience across health, education, community, private practice and disability sectors. Lynne is currently employed at a large non-government Autism-specific organisation as a Senior Speech Pathologist. She is responsible... Read More →

Sarah Henderson

Sarah Henderson is a Family Wellbeing and Resilience Worker at the mental health charity Newport Mind, in partnership with the University of Brighton and the Families First government initiative in Newport, South Wales. She graduated with a BSc Psychology degree in 2012 and has since... Read More →

Sharon McCloskey

Sharon McCloskey is a registered nurse. She has worked in the field of children's palliative care and supported children with complex health needs and their families for 20 years. She is particularly interested in factors that help build resilience in parents and families of children... Read More →


Colette Jourdan-Ionescu

Professor at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières Colette Jourdan-Ionescu, Ph. D. is professor at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, researcher for the Centre de recherche et d’intervention sur la réussite scolaire (CRIRES) and the Scientific Council of the Association... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Martin-Roy

Sarah Martin-Roy

Université Laval
Research assistant and student member for Consortium national de recherche sur l’intégration sociale (CNRIS) and Centre de recherche et d’intervention sur la réussite scolaire (CRIRES). Her research focuses on students (18-21 years old) with intellectual disabilities participation... Read More →

Mair Reardon

Lead Occupational Therapist Education & Training, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Mair Reardon is the Lead Occuational Therapist for Education and Training at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. She has worked predominately in adult mental health services. Her interest in resilience stems from seeing the impact an individual’s resilience has on their recovery... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm
ScotiaBank Room NAB 3rd Floor, King's College


Mental Health & Youth Voices -Lisa Evanoff, Kelli Sirianni, Danielle Root, Petro Erasmus, Ria Schroder, Linda Liebenberg
Mental Health & Youth Voices:

Abstract #3
Mobilizing the Power of Community In Nunavut to Protect from Suicide
Presenter: Lisa Evanoff
This session will look at how the Canadian Red Cross is working with a territorial partner, the Embrace Life Council, to reduce suicide by mobilizing communities through prevention education. This unique partnership funded by the Government of Nunavut aims to provide community  training and action planning; vital violence prevention training at the school and community level and cultural specific workshops to link traditions and modern realities. Using a framework called Ten Steps to Creating Safe Environments for Children and Youth, the outcome is a community-owned plan that is driven and implemented by communities. From there adults and children and youth are trained in all aspects of violence prevention. To date 10 of the 26 communities have taken the training.

Abstract # 13
Project BLAST: Breaking Barriers, Loving Yourself, Accepting Others, Similarities not Differences and Totally Inclusive Experience
Presenter: Kelli Sirianni
This research focuses on the one-day event, Project BLAST, and its intrinsic and extrinsic impact on student and adult participants. BLAST stands for: breaking barriers, loving yourself, accepting others, similarities not differences, and totally inclusive experience. Using small and large group activities, BLAST is a transformational day and described by many as ‘an eye-opening experience’. Its philosophy is that when one feels accepted, capable and competent, they are able to develop, positively adapt and to feel and be resilient. Resilience is crucial to one’s ability to develop into a socially competent citizen, and for this reason, must be incorporated as an element of character education. Education must target all aspects of the student, including the academic, personal and social self. Former adult participants were interviewed on the impact this event has had on them as adults, including short and long term implications, as well as its perceptive impact on students. Evaluative feedback forms collected from student participants after each event were incorporated into the qualitative thematic data analysis in drawing conclusions. Findings indicate BLAST as having an impact on resilience and sense of belonging as well as on the presence of respect, empathy, support and compassion/acceptance, among its student and adult participants. 

Abstract # 56
What Healthy Attachments Mean To Aboriginals
Presenter: Danielle Root 
Aboriginal populations are too often studied for what is "wrong" with them.  Initially, my research interest entailed finding ways to foster healthy attachments between young Aboriginal mothers and their young children in the "critical age range" (0-33 months).  I thought about ways in which we can help decolonize some of the learned, unhealthy parenting practices as a result of colonization.  Although this is still my ultimate research goal, I have learned that there is a gap in what is known to be "healthy attachments" in the context of Aboriginals.  Therefore, instead of going with what traditional attachment theories suggest as being "healthy" attachments, I must first give self-determination back to those with whom I wish to help foster those healthy attachments; the young Aboriginal mothers.   By first asking the question of what attachment means to them, I will have a better understanding of how to help foster it.  While it is important that we not ignore the negative effects that colonization has had, and continues to have on our people, I believe that focusing on our strengths is the most critical step in the process of decolonization.

Abtsract # 41
Eliciting The Life Story When Working With Adolescents: Introducing The Fortune Teller As A New Creative Technique
Presenter: Petro Erasmus
This paper aims to introduce a new and innovative technique for eliciting the life story when working with adolescents.  The fortune teller is a paper folding technique that has been part of play in various cultures. This paper folding technique has been adapted by the author as a creative tool for use in therapautic settings when working with adolescents to elicit their life story. This paper will exlain the rationale for using this technique in individual therapy and counselling ‘settings to elicite the life story and help the adolescent to explore their life stories.  The information obtained through this techniques offers the therapist insight into the emotional well-being of the adolescent by focusing on life themes, self-concept,  identities, self-talk, coping mechanims, traumas and hope (dreams and aspirations).  It contributes to facilitating understanding for the adolescent of their ego states and thought processes.  This technique contributes to establishing the therapeutic trust relationship in the first session and it can be used in individual and group settings in working with children who experiences trauma such as divorce, bullying, bereavement. The adolescent becomes an active participant in planning the therapeutic sessions as this technique allows them to understand the aims of therapy and  reduces resistance to therapy.

Abstract # 57
Building Resilience – Including The Voice Of Youth In Research: Managing The Ethical Dilemmas
Presenter: Ria Schroder Co - Presenters: Linda Liebenberg
Including youth voices in research is not only fundamental to promoting youth resilience by providing genuine opportunities for participation and empowerment, it is also fundamental to research concerned with understanding youth related issues.  Conducting research that includes a diverse range of youth participants, and incorporates use of youth friendly technologies for data collection offers an exciting opportunity for many researchers.  These possibilities become even more exciting when youth are included as part of the project team.  These same possibilities can also become extremely challenging, even to the point of abandonment, when such projects come before ethical review committees.  In this presentation we will highlight i) some of the dilemmas that are perceived by ethical review committees to exist around “youth friendly research” and, ii) the barriers these assumptions create for including youth in research.  We will also reflect on the ethical dilemma these assumptions pose in terms of reducing/eliminating youth voices from research where they are essential.  Strategies for working with ethical review committees to manage these dilemmas will be discussed.

Abstract # 62
Meaningfully Engaging Youth In Research And Evaluation
Presenter: Linda Liebenberg
This facilitated discussion will present core lessons gained from experiences of youth participants and researchers engaged in several research projects internationally. Specifically, we will present key points to elicit discussion around the following three questions: 1. Why should we engage youth meaningfully in research and evaluation? 2. How do we engage youth meaningfully in research/evaluation and dissemination of findings?3. How are community partners (including youth participants) working with researchers to protect the best interests of youth in the research/evaluation process?The focus will be on research and evaluation with youth living in challenging socioeconomically marginalised contexts. The goal of Understanding meaningful engagement is to facilitate connection and knowledge sharing between a diverse group of actors engaged in research (i.e. researchers, community-partners, and youth research participants); and to generate new knowledge about how to meaningfully engage youth in research and evaluation so as to reverse the flow of knowledge from marginalised and often silenced youth to adults in positions of decision-making power.

avatar for Danielle Root

Danielle Root

Danielle Root is from Listuguj First Nation, Quebec. In the year 2000, she came to Halifax, Nova Scotia and completed her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology at Saint Mary's University. Since coming to Halifax, Danielle has been actively involved in the Aboriginal community in... Read More →

Kelli Sirianni

Kelli Sirianni has received her B.A.[H], B.Ed and M.Ed with thesis from the University of Windsor. Her research interests include the building of resilience, sense of belonging and an overall positive school climate, specifically through an event she has run for four years in local... Read More →
avatar for Linda Liebenberg

Linda Liebenberg

Linda Liebenberg, PhD., Co-Director Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University, is a researcher and evaluator with a core interest in children and youth with complex needs. Her work explores the promotion of positive youth development and mental health, using formal and informal... Read More →
avatar for Petro Erasmus

Petro Erasmus

Senior Lecturer, North West University
I am a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the North West University where I teach Developmental Psychology and Positive Psychology and I am the coordinator of the Honors course. I also have a private practice which is called the Child and Family Guidance and Development... Read More →

Ria Schroder

Ria Schroder (PhD) completed her PhD at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 2004 and since that time has been an active member of the Collaborative team. In September 2012 Ria was employed as the Research Manager for the Collaborative. She is also a Research Fellow at the... Read More →

avatar for Linda Liebenberg

Linda Liebenberg

Linda Liebenberg, PhD., Co-Director Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University, is a researcher and evaluator with a core interest in children and youth with complex needs. Her work explores the promotion of positive youth development and mental health, using formal and informal... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm
KTS Lecture Hall NAB 2nd Floor, King's College


Policing, Policy & Advocacy -Nancy Ross, Megan Longley, John Yee, Ericka Kimball, Yvonne Vissing
Policing, Policy & Advocacy:

Abstract # 30
The Bridgewater Police:  Innovative Collaborators Supporting Individuals In Challenging Contexts
Presenter: Nancy Ross Co-presenters: Sue Bookchin, John W. Collyer
Throughout the collaborative community response initiated by the ‘Be the Peace, Make a Change’ project to reduce interpersonal violence in Lunenburg County, the Bridgewater Police have been key stake-holders.   The coordinators of this project, funded by the Status for Women Canada for three years, hope the initiatives started will be sustained beyond the project funding, by community partnerships. The Bridgewater Police have been innovative partners.  For example, leadership of the ongoing development of the Community Dispute Resolution Center (CDRC) has been transferred to the Bridgewater Police Chief, John Collier. The ongoing participation of the Police in this project, along with other community partnerships has resulted in new and innovative models that will increase both the resiliency of the community and support pathways to resiliency of individuals. Bridgewater Police are also key stakeholders in the Municipal Alcohol Project that aims to both prevent and respond better to alcohol-related harms.  The Bridgewater Police have also partnered with local women’s organization to improve responses to sexual assault.  Individual Police officers mentor individual youth. This presentation will highlight the ways in which the Bridgewater Police prioritize collaborative engagement in the community that aims to support individuals in challenging contexts.

Abstract # 34
Beyond The Tip Of The Iceberg: A Holistic Approach To Advocating For Youth
Presenter: Megan Longley
Traditionally Nova Scotia Legal Aid has provided representation to youth charged with criminal offenses.  We are now taking a new approach to our representation of youth by looking at how we can address or help with the issues that contributed to the criminal engagement. Any youth in HRM, incluidng those with no criminal law issues, can come to us with any social justice issue and will get to meet with a lawyer for service ranging from summary advice to full service. The areas we are, so far, addressing including school and school board issues, DCS issues, criminal record issues, PPA negotiations, assistance negotiating access to mental health services or housing and DMV appeals. The assistance we provide ranges from informal (call to a principal or grouphome) to formal (representationa t a school board hearing) or anything in between. Often youth need help beyond the legal so we are offering to provide whatever level of help they need navigating or fighting the system they want to access. Many youth we serve do not have adults who can be an available or effective advocate for them when dealing with these problems so we want to help youth have a voice when trying to obtain services to which they are entitled. I believe this legal aid approach to holistic youth social justice and criminal law is unique in this province and possibly in the country and we are excited to share what we are doing.

Abstract # 65
Coming Up For Air
Presenter: John Yee
Instead of examining resilience by conducting a random sample to represent a specific population, I am proposing to examine another feature of resilience from members in a specific group. I am also a member of this group: a trauma response unit. We attend to trauma experienced by law enforcement officers. There are about 80 members in this group, and we are on call on an average of one week per month. 
We know what to say when we attend to others who are faced with stressful incidences that affect their ability to function in their normal day to day activities. But what if we are affected ourselves by stressful incidences? Do we know what to do? How would we handle it? This paper examines some of the common ways we pull ourselves out of a rut.    
My method of research: qualitative analysis, survey, and brief follow-up interview by email to elaborate on established themes or patterns arrived at from the survey.

Abstract # 33
A Place At The Table:  Incorporating Voices And Perspectives Of Those Who Experienced Domestic Violence In Childhood
Presenter: Ericka Kimball 
For more than 30 years the movement to end domestic violence has focused on increasing safety, freedom, and autonomy for victims and their children. Over that time, our understanding of children’s experiences of domestic violence has evolved significantly. Initially, programs responded to children as “secondary victims” and provided services exclusively to the abused parent based on the fair assumption that increasing safety and well-being would also increase the safety and well-being of children. Soon, with new research on the impact of “witnessing” domestic violence, programs began to respond to children’s needs directly – offering separate services that addressed safety planning, processing complex feelings, and promoting strengths. Now we are on the cusp of a second wave of the movement – one where those who experienced domestic violence as children are now adults who are making a place in the social justice arena. The AEDVC Leadership Forum is emerging as leaders to bring visibility to this experience and to impact new directions for policy, service provision, and advocacy on behalf of children exposed to domestic violence. In this facilitated discussion, we want to explore key strategies for incorporating the voices and perspectives of children exposed to domestic violence in understanding resilience.

Abstract # 36
Resiliency And Rights: A Conceptual Model
Presenter: Yvonne Vissing 
This paper explores the relationship between resiliency and the presence of community support for child rights.  The United Nations (UN) created the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) 25 years ago and it has become the most endorsed human rights act in the world.  Only two UN countries (Somalia and the USA) have not signed, ratified and implemented the UNCRC. Research with international child scholars in the United Kingdom and Ireland has led to my speaking at the UNCRC’s 25th anniversary in Amsterdam this fall.  A mixed-methods design has been employed to analyze about the relationship between child rights and resiliency.  I have created a theoretical model that explores the interface between these variables that proposes resiliency is heightened when there are formalized legal mandates that support child rights.  While resiliency in children may be possible for those in countries where there are few child protection laws, the lack of community support, resource and infrastructure makes it much more challenging.  The position of this paper is that supporting child rights is directly correlated with higher well-being, empowerment and resiliency for children and youth.


Ericka Kimball

Ericka Kimball, PhD, LISW is an Assistant Professor at Portland State University in Portland, OR. In addition to conducting research in the area of child exposure to domestic violence, she is a founding member of the Adults who Experience Domestic Violence in Childhood Leadership... Read More →

John Yee

I am a doctoral candidate at University of Liverpool, England. I completed my post master’s in counselling psychology at Athabasca University, Canada. For the last 15 years, my research is in the realm of neurology and optometry. I have published six peer reviewed papers on this... Read More →
avatar for Megan Longley

Megan Longley

Managing Lawyer Youth Justice, Nova Scotia Legal Aid - Youth Justice Office
I was called to the bar in 1995 and have worked with Nova Scotia Legal Aid since 1999. The bulk of my work has been in youth criminal law, and I became manager of the Youth Office in 2011. I have recently started working with youth beyond criminal justice in areas of social justice... Read More →

Nancy Ross

Nancy Ross, Assistant Professor, Dalhousie School of Social Work for the past two years, has, to date, spent the majority of her working life in addiction and mental health settings. Her work with women led her to believe that the personal is connected to the political and to her... Read More →

Yvonne Vissing

Yvonne Vissing, PhD, is Professor of Sociology at Salem State University where she is the founding director of their Center for Childhood & Youth Studies. Author of six books, she is a former National Institute of Mental Health Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Whiting Foundation Fellow... Read More →


Sue Bookchin

Co-Coordinator at Be the Peace Project Sue has been a facilitator, trainer and coach for over 20 years. In all her work, it is particularly rewarding when people recognize something in one another they can connect with. When there is excitement in pursuing what we care deeply about... Read More →

John Collyer

Chief of Police at Bridgewater Police Department John Collyer, Chief of the Bridgewater Police Department, received the Minster’s Award for Leadership in Crime Prevention. He has been an In School Mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters and a volunteer facilitator for the South... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Shatford Room A&A 2nd Floor, King's College


Resilience in Adverse Settings -Consuelo Elizabeth Mendez-Shannon, Ihsana Sabriani Borualogo, Julie Tippens, Sofie Vindevogel, Amarnath Amarasingam, Jennifer Bernier
Resilience In Adverse Settings:

Abstract # 9
Undocumented Latino Immigrants: A Story Of Suffering, Strength And Identity.
Presenter: Consuelo Elizabeth Mendez-Shannon Co - Presenters: Jo Daugherty Bailey
This poster summarizes key findings from a qualitative study about how undocumented Latino immigrants deal with adversity while living in an urban city in the U.S.  Through semi-structured interviews, narratives demonstrated key protective factors prevalent in the community. 
Key facilitators that were helpful during their initial transition into the U.S included getting help in finding a job, knowing someone in the U.S before immigrating, being connected to support networks, and receiving support from others who shared their struggles. The obstacles they continuously face are language barriers, limited education and unfair work wages. At the same time, another common theme reveals how they transform suffering using personal strengths and drawing on support from close-knit communities.  Through it all, they shared that they maintained an identity of seemingly having two lives one originating in Mexico and the other of their current residence in the US.
Recommendations for social work practice include using a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach and a strengths perspective with narratives.  Participants described a three-tiered community network suggesting distinctions from a close-knit network outward to general Latino-based support and further out to a community resident network including teachers and medical doctors. 

Abstract # 38
Resilience of Bataknese, Minangnese, And Sundanese Youth Migrants Who Study In Bandung.
Presenter: Ihsana Sabriani Borualogo Co - Presenters: Fons van de Vijver
The aim of this study is to get the new concepts on resilience which is emic and specific in the context of Indonesian culture on three ethnic groups (Bataknese, Minangnese and Sundanese). It is also aims to test the effect of value system and cultural value of migration on resilience. Bataknese have a value system that strongly supports members to leave the area to study. Core to this value system are characteristics like being persistent and diligent, and willing to try and work hard. This study tested a new model of resilience in the context of migration. More specifically, the model postulates that the value system vis-à-vis migration other vales, and social support have an influence on self-esteem, which in turn influences resilience, which in turn influences well-being. Data were collected through questionnaires to 712 respondents who were selected by random cluster sampling technique. The data were statistically analyzed by SEM using Lisrel. Self-esteem plays an important role as a mediating variable to help youth migrants to have resilience. Social support explained the important role of social environment and helped the youth migrants building their self-worth. Social life values helped youth migrants to build their self-esteem, so that they are able to have resilience. Resilience determined satisfaction with life in youth migrants. Culture affected psychological factors in youth migrants, such as value system, cultural value, self-esteem, and satisfaction with life. Cultural values affected resilience through those psychological factors.

Abstract # 60
Do Survival Mechanisms Equal Resilience?  The Case Of The Banyamulenge Church Raid In Nairobi, Kenya.
Presenter: Julie Tippens
In times of extreme chaos, can survival be classified as a form of resilience? The goal of this segment is to explore the relationships that exist among “chaos narratives,” resilience-fostering techniques and psychosocial health outcomes in situations of distress. 
This conversation is framed using the example of a May 2014 police raid on ethnic Banyamulenge Congolese refugee church-goers in a low-income neighborhood in Kenya. Those arrested were abused and beaten, and eventually taken to a refugee camp along the Kenya-Somalia border. Several families were cleaved in this particular raid, with more than 200 children separated from their parents or main caregivers 
Based on a subset of in-depth interviews (N=15), group discussions (N=2) and survey research (N=70) with urban Banyamulenge refugees who were affected by this raid, this segment will address survival mechanisms used by individuals, households and the community. Using a social-ecological lens, this conversation will ask questions pertaining to what structures promote and/or foster resilience (and for whom in what contexts), as well as whether survival in and of itself can be classified within a resilience framework.

Abstract # 61
A Relational Approach: Integrating Individualist And Collectivist Perspectives On The Resilience Of War-Affected Children
Presenter: Sofie Vindevogel
This presentation aims to reflect upon the tenets of an individualist and collectivist approach to resilience and to consider the implications of prioritizing individual or collective resilience in policy, research and practice initiatives for children living in (post-)conflict areas. It delineates that an individualist view risks holding individuals accountable for possible difficulties experienced in the aftermath of war, while disregarding the context on which their well-being strongly depends. As such, social issues may be interpreted as individual failures, leaving structural barriers and deficiencies unquestioned. The collectivist tradition, however, lead to underestimating individual efforts, strengths, and self-determination, and result in an overly standardized approach that is supposed to fit all. An understanding of resilience as a manifestation of relational dynamics, linking both individual and collective responses to the challenges of war, helps to counter the limitations of both traditions as it carves out the space for acknowledging individual experiences and efforts as well as the importance of the broader context and collective world. As a consequence, the primary concern is no longer to identify the locus of core resources and support mechanisms, but the understanding of the dynamic interplay of individual and collective responses to the encountered challenges that enable resilience in the face of armed conflict.

Abstract # 63
Barriers To Violent Radicalization: Understanding Pathways To Resilience Among Canadian Youth
Presenter: Amarnath Amarasingam Co - Presenters: Sarah Morgan
As many scholars and policy analysts have made clear, the nature of contemporary terrorism and political violence is evolving. While terrorist violence has indeed been rare in Canada, we are nevertheless not immune from it. Cases like the Air India bombing of 1985, the Toronto 18 plot of 2006, as well as instances of Canadian youth travelling overseas to fight on behalf of foreign groups like Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab in Somalia, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka are all cause for concern. While it is important to understand what radicalizes youth to the point of violence, it is also important to identify culturally specific and population wide factors that support the engagement of youth without that engagement leading to violence. Our study, based on year-long field research with the Somali community in Toronto and the indigenous population of Northern Ontario, investigates the social ecologies of resilience that prevent violent extremism. Our methodology is equally innovative, building on the use of mixed methods designs and visual methodologies to explore the hidden, unnamed protective processes that are part of young people’s lives when they are exposed to, and resist, violent extremism.

Abstract # 17
I Am BRAVE: Building Resilience Through Anti-Violence Education.
Presenter: Jennifer Bernier
Stop Now & Plan (SNAP®) is an evidence-based, gender specific, cognitive behavioural program for children under the age of 12 who experience significant externalizing behaviours (i.e. oppositional and conduct issues). These behaviours may include bullying or being mean to others, making threats, being physically aggressive towards or hurting others, not listening, missing school, having negative peers associations, and stealing. At the Centre for Building Resilience through Anti-Violence Education (BRAVE), a unique replication of the SNAP® program is offered specifically for girls aged 6-11 years living in the Halifax Regional Municipality to decrease internalizing and externalizing behaviours such as bullying, delinquency, anxiety, and future criminalization. To reach its goals, BRAVE provides a comprehensive set of gender-specific SNAP® services to girls, their families and peers both in the community and schools that address multiple risk factors, build resilience, and promote healthy childhood development. A gender specific approach is essential, as the context of girls’ behavioural concerns with bullying, delinquency, and criminalization can often differ from boys.
The three aspects of our work that we would like to discuss during the facilitated discussion, includes the importance of providing comprehensive, gender-specific, community-based interventions for children...

avatar for Amarnath Amarasingam

Amarnath Amarasingam

Amarnath Amarasingam is a Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University. He is the author of Pain, Pride, and Politics: Sri Lankan Tamil Activism in Canada (University of Georgia Press... Read More →
avatar for Consuelo Elizabeth Mendez-Shannon

Consuelo Elizabeth Mendez-Shannon

Assistant Professor, MSU Denver
Dr. Mendez-Shannon, MSW is an Assistant Professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, U.S.A. She served the Harlem community for 10 years in the areas of child welfare, community activism, and immigrant rights. She helped mobilize New York City with disaster relief during... Read More →
avatar for Ihsana Sabriani Borualogo

Ihsana Sabriani Borualogo

Lecturer, Master Program of Professional Psychology Universitas Islam Bandung
Ihsana Sabriani Borualogo is a Chief of Master Program of Professional Psychology in Universitas Islam Bandung, Indonesia. She is interested in cross-cultural psychology studies, especially on resilience, well-being, value systems, and issues on developmental psychology.In 2012, she... Read More →

Jennifer Bernier

Jennifer Bernier, PhD., is the Founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Building Resilience through Anti-Violence Education (BRAVE). Jennifer provides leadership to achieve BRAVE’s commitments to address bullying, delinquency and criminalization among girls aged 6-11 with... Read More →
avatar for Julie Tippens

Julie Tippens

Julie A. Tippens, MA, MPH is a doctor of public health candidate at the University of Arizona, where she is also pursuing a doctoral minor and graduate certificate in medical anthropology. Her research lends anthropological insight into issues of forced migration and refugee psychosocial... Read More →

Sofie Vindevogel

Ghent University
Sofie Vindevogel works as post-doctoral assistant at the Department of Special Education at Ghent University and is affiliated to the Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations. She obtained her PhD in Educational Sciences with a dissertation on former child soldiers in northern... Read More →


Jo Daugherty Bailey

Associate Professor and the MSW Program Director at Metropolitan State University of Denver Jo Daugherty Bailey, Ph.D., MSW is Associate Professor and the MSW Program Director at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Dr. Bailey has taught across the curriculum in both sociology... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan

Site Researcher 
avatar for Fons van de Vijver

Fons van de Vijver

Professor at Department of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Tilburg University, The Netherlands Fons van de Vijver holds a chair in cross-cultural psychology at Tilburg University, the Netherlands and an extraordinary chair at North-West University, South Africa, and the University of... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Boardroom A&A 2nd Floor, King's College