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Concurrent Paper Presentations [clear filter]
Wednesday, June 17

1:45pm EDT

Indigenous Perspectives - Bernadette Iahtail, Nicolette Teufel-Shone, Eliana Suarez
Indigenous Perspectives:

Abstract #193
Aboriginal Fathers Love Their Children Too!
Presenter: Bernadette Lahtail
This workshop will present the results of five focus groups with Aboriginal fathers from local reserves and urban dwellers, and with caseworkers and supervisors involved with child welfare. This process culminated with joint sharing circle where the fathers and practitioners were able to learn from each other. The workshop will highlight our findings and recommendations for policy and practice, and present a powerful film based on these life experiences, also entitled " Aboriginal Fathers are parents too!" We plan to involve the audience In deepening our knowledge of the Issue from the perspective of seasoned social work practitioners who can enrich our knowledge, with a particular emphasis on unpacking the root causes that contribute to the exclusion of fathers who desire greater involvement with their children, but who are too often kept a distance. The session will provide an opportunity for reflective casework  practice, an examination of systemic biases and attitudes, and an exploration of pragmatic alternatives to the situation.

Abstract #259
Role of Community Health Representatives in Building Resilience in Native Communities
Presenter: Nicolette Teufel-Shone Co - Presenters: Mae-Gilene Begay, Samantha Sabo, Heather Dreifuss, Kerstin Reinschmidt
In the 1960s, Indigenous communities in the US identified the need and lobbied for community health paraprofessionals to improve cross-cultural communication between Native communities and predominantly non-Native health care providers.  The federally funded Community Health Representative (CHR) Program emerged and today, CHRs provide services in most of the 556 federally recognized tribes and many Indian urban centers. CHRs share the language, socioeconomic status and life experiences of community members. They are trained to perform a wide range of tasks, e.g., home-based health assessments and culturally relevant health education. Evaluation of CHRs has focused on patient contact and services. Although their role as health advocates is clearly outlined by Indian Health Service (IHS), which serves as the umbrella organization for CHR programs nationally, their role as community leaders and change agents supporting healthy behaviors and building community resilience is less well documented.  Talking sessions with CHRs in Arizona reveal that they organize community health promotion events, provide presentations in schools, senior centers and worksites, and coordinate emergency and disaster responses. To recognize and foster this local strength, CHRs experiences and community-based strategies should be documented, shared and integrated into the standard training programs to enhance community resilience.

Abstract #252
Resilience or Resistance? Learning From the Experiences of Indigenous Women in Peru 
Presenter: Eliana Suarez
The intricate relationship between resistance and resilience is far from being understood but this paper endorses views that place resistance as a catalyst for survival and perhaps the foundation of long term resilience. Drawing upon extensive research utilizing sequential mixed methods and field work with grass-root associations of Indigenous Quechua women in Ayacucho, we examine how this group of women utilizes memories of their resistance during the Peruvian armed conflict in order to cope with their current everyday struggles and to re-affirm their new spaces of resistance in post-conflict. In particular, these stories shift the emphasis from women’s suffering during conflicts to their resistance and courage. From these narratives, we conclude that when analyzed conceptually resilience and resistance are separate units but when they are expressed as living experiences their boundaries are less defined and more fluid.


Bernadette Iahtail

Creating Hope Society
She is a registered Social Worker and co-founder and Executive Director of Creating Hope Society, a society founded for the survivors of the “The Sixties and Seventies Scoop of Aboriginal Children in Care“. Her key passions are to create awareness of Aboriginal history, specifically... Read More →

Eliana Suarez

Dr. Eliana Suarez, is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University since 2011. She has an MSW and a PhD in Social Work from the University of Toronto. She has extensive experience in community mental health, specifically the nexus of trauma, resilience... Read More →

Nicolette Teufel-Shone

Dr. Teufel-Shone’s research interests are in the effectiveness of strength based approaches to health promotion. For more than 25 years, she has collaborated with tribal communities in the US. These tribe-university partnerships have developed and shared culturally relevant health... Read More →


Mae-Gilene Begay

Navajo Nation
Director at Navajo Nation, CHR Program Mae-Gilene Begay, MS is Din’e (Navajo), her maternal clan is Salt and paternal clan is Bitterwater. She manages Navajo Nation Tribal programs that provide community outreach and health education. She conducts program/policy planning and development... Read More →

Heather Dreifuss

Coordinator at College of Public Health, University of Arizona Ms. Dreifuss coordinates a research education and practicum experience for Native students. She is a skilled instructor and has collaborated on curriculum development with Din’e College, the Navajo Nation Tribal College... Read More →
avatar for Kerstin Reinschmidt

Kerstin Reinschmidt

Assistant Professor, University or Arizona
Assistant Professor at College of Public Health, University of Arizona Dr. Reinschmidt specializes in culturally relevant health promotion, predominantly using participatory and qualitative methods. She has been developing, adapting, implementing and evaluating public health promotion... Read More →

Samantha Sabo

Assistant Professor at College of Public Health, University fo Arizona Dr. Sabo’s research interests are in the social and political context of family health among Mexican immigrant and Indigenous peoples. Her work has been dedicated to the use of mixed, quantitative and qualitative... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm EDT
Alumni Hall NAB 1st Floor, King's College

1:45pm EDT

Mothers - Angela Veale, Sarah Robinson, Jane March-McDonald

Abstract #67
War-Affected Young Mothers In Sierra Leone, Liberia And Northern Uganda: A Mixed-Method Exploration Of Resilience
Presenter: Angela Veale Co - Presenters: Miranda Worthen, Susan McKay
The United Nations Study on Women, Peace and Security (UN 2002) identified one of the major impacts of armed conflict on young women and communities is the increase in children born of forced pregnancy. Children born to girls and young women associated with armed forces or armed groups (CAAFAG) are frequently referred to as ‘rebel babies’ and can experience significant stigma on return to civilian communities.  In addition, children born from exploitative and unrecognized relationships such as through sexual violence, prostitution or transactional sex are also likely to experience marginalisation and isolation.  We present a participatory action research project which sought to promote community participation with a focus on girl mothers formerly associated with armed groups and their children and other vulnerable young mothers in their communities. The study involved a partnership between ten community-based non-governmental organization partners working at grass-roots levels with war-affected communities in the three countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia and northern Uganda and national and international academics. Participants were 658 war-affected young mothers who collectively had over 1000 children. The presentation utilises a mixed-methods approach to examine predictors of child resilience based on a participatory survey with young mother participants, supported by ethnographic analysis.   A key finding was ‘resilience’ as a concept has to capture the inter-relatedness of change, whereby changes in one domain of life (community admiration, livelihoods, wellbeing, capacity to support) stimulated transformations in family relationships, reciprocal support, mutual respect and community networks.

Abstract #93
The Missing M In Mother And Baby Residential Interventions, A Grounded Theory Exploration Of Young Mothers Experience Of Transition From A Parental Baby Residential Unit For Families In Crisis
Presenter: Sarah Robinson Co - Presenters: Angela Veale
Transition from and between different mandated services has been identified as a confusing time (Ikeda, Hubley, Liebenberg & Participants of the Places to Resilience Project, 2013).  This paper seeks to explore the lived experience of transition from a residential parental baby unit for young mothers, initially recognized by mandated services in Ireland (Mental Health, Family and Child Services, Judicial etc.) as at risk of separation from their baby, due to child protection concerns.  This risk, however, is generally transformed during the 3-9 month residential intervention, with improvements in parenting reflective capacity, maternal mental health and mother-baby wellbeing observed.  The majority of mother-baby dyads generally transition together, as child protection concerns are abated.  Risks from some mothers remain, and these mothers transition alone without their baby. Through participatory research, both types of mothers participated in group discussions and creative methodologies (Veale, 2005) to explore the meaning of this transition and what factors help them sustain resilient outcomes achieved while in residence at the unit. Grounded theory analysis (Charmaz, 2006) supports the construction of actionable knowledge that will be of use to service-providers and practitioners seeking to understand protective processes in transition from such services and what factors sustain resilient outcomes.

Abstract #222
Somali Mothering In Exile: Cultural Notions of Risk, Protection and Resilience
Presenter: Jane March-McDonald 
This presentation is based upon a qualitative exploratory PhD study examining the nature of resilience in the daily lives of a small group of forced migrant Somali mothers living in the UK. The presentation focuses on findings related to Somali mothering and explores how the findings might confirm or challenge widely accepted Western notions of good mothering. 
Insights gained into the mothering role can further our understanding and appreciation of the aspirations, expectations and resilience that Somali mothers have and bring to the mothering role, while also highlighting the tensions and contradictions to be found in managing cultural notions of risk, protection and resilience. Mother’s perceived and experienced outside threat to their role and to their children’s wellbeing, evidences a need to work with families and communities in further exploring and understanding the specific cultural challenges that they may encounter mothering in a Western culture. At the same time the difficulties of working with competing and contradictory notions of protective mothering, that are at odds with western thinking, leaves questions as to how professionals and the wider community may best respond to effectively support these Somali mothers mothering in challenging circumstances.


Angela Veale

University College Cork
Dr. at UCC As a researcher, Dr. Veale aims to contribute in the space between academic knowledge, policy and practice. She is interested in innovative and mixed research methodologies, in particular working with creative research methods. Her research and writing takes a socio-cultural... Read More →
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 →

Sarah Robinson

School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork
Sarah Robinson is a first year PHD candidate in the University College Cork (UCC), Republic of Ireland. She is interesed in community and critical psychology, post-conflict and conflict transitions, life transitions and resilience, and humanitarianism. She is a graduate of the higher... Read More →


Susan McKay

Professor at University of Wyoming Susan McKay, Ph.D. is a psychologist, nurse and Professor of Women's and International Studies at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming, USA. For almost two decades, she has taught and researched issues focused upon women, girls, and armed... Read More →

Angela Veale

University College Cork
Dr. at UCC As a researcher, Dr. Veale aims to contribute in the space between academic knowledge, policy and practice. She is interested in innovative and mixed research methodologies, in particular working with creative research methods. Her research and writing takes a socio-cultural... Read More →

Miranda Worthen

Assistant Professor at San Jose state University Dr. Miranda Worthen is assistant professor in Health Science and Recreation at San Jose State University. has reseahed primarily been in conflict or post-conflict countries. Dr. Worthen has worked extensively in Africa and Asia, as... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm EDT
Haliburton Room A&A Main Floor, King's College

1:45pm EDT

Programs In Schools - Derek Blincow, Kathy Furlong, Tanya Lereya
Programs in Schools:

Abstract #71
“The Best Of Your Life: What Can Schooldays Do?”
Presenter: Derek Blincow 
For those children who grow up within contexts of constellated disadvantage, one of the most important mechanisms for ensuring better than expected outcomes is through education.  Relocating children from a deprived context to one of privileged education has been used to harness that effect.  
This paper will explore the work of two projects, one in the UK, the other in Detroit, USA where there have been such projects in operation for over 40 years.    In the UK, the Royal National Childrens Foundation (RNCF) funds children to attend private residential schools where the child is subject to a high index of parental difficulty.  Increasingly, some of these children are in state care.  In Detroit, the Horizons project has worked since the late 1960s to fund children from the inner city into one particular private residential school.
The paper will sketch the research as well as the cultural and political background informing these projects, comparing and contrasting outcomes, highlighting successes and continuing dilemmas.  It will explore the prospects for their extension into working even further with the most disadvantaged children.  For these children and their families, what is the benefit, what the cost?

Abstract #80
Discovering Your Possibilities
Presenter: Kathy Furlong Co - Presenter: Farook Sarani
A school-based program involving university mentors designed to increase academic success and resiliency in at-risk high school students was evaluated using an explanatory mixed methods design.  Quantitative data was collected and analyzed and qualitative data was gathered in order to explain and expand the quantitative results. 
The study investigated two research questions. Does the Discovering Your Possibilities (DYP) program increase students’ academic success, as identified by student engagement:  increase in attendance, decrease in lates, improved credit accumulation and increase in grade point average and does it increase the level of resiliency of at-risk youth?  What elements in the program contributed to resiliency (if any) from the perceptions of the students, and from the perceptions of the Student Success Teachers?  The results of this study indicate that the intervention had a positive effect on academic success for those students who participated more fully in the intervention.  While the quantitative data results indicate that there is no relationship between resiliency and the intervention, the qualitative data indicates that the intervention positively affected resiliency.
The DYP program has been implemented in another school board in another city.  This program involves community mentors and data results demonstrate that the program is meeting its objectives.

Abstract #166
The Role of School Connectedness in Understanding Mental Health Outcomes in the Context of Cumulative Risk
Presenter: Tanya Lereya 
Research indicates that children who are exposed to multiple adverse contextual factors are at heightened risk of internalizing and externalizing problems.  However, there is also significant variability in mental health outcomes for those exposed to multiple risks and a range of protective factors accounting for some of this variability have been identified (e.g., parenting, social support and positive peer relationships).  However, there is much yet to explore about how school-based relationships support resilience.  For example, it is unclear whether the role of schools connectedness is the same in primary and secondary schools contexts and it is yet to be established whether it is the child’s personal perception of school connectedness that is important or whether it is the extent to which the school is collectively viewed as having a connected climate.The current study draws on longitudinal data collected from 2 cohorts (5,485 primary school students and 5,981 secondary school students) to carry out multi-level structural equation models that explore the moderating role of school-level and individual-level school connectedness in understanding the impact of cumulative risk on the development of internalizing symptoms and externalizing problems over a two year period.  Implications for the role of the school in buffering children against the impact of adverse events on child mental health will be discussed.


Derek Blincow

I am a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Fellow of the University of Brighton who has co-authored a book and a number of articles on resilient interventions for children living in constellated disadvantage. I continue to work as a clinician and also in advising the courts and... Read More →

Kathy Furlong

Kathy Furlong is a Superintendent of Education for the London District Catholic School Board in London, Ontario. She has held administrative positions in two other school boards in Ontario. She has developed, implemented, facilitated then evaluated a program to increase resiliency... Read More →

Tanya Lereya

Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
Dr. Tanya Lereya is a research fellow in the Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU) based across University College London and the Anna Freud Centre. She completed her PhD, which focused on the precursors and consequences of bullying involvement, and worked as a research fellow for 2... Read More →

avatar for Farook Sarani

Farook Sarani

Teacher, Thames Valley District School Board
Student Success Teacher at Thames Valley District School Board Farook Sarani is the Department Head of History and Lead Student Success Teacher at Montcalm Secondary School in London, Ontario. He has taught in two school boards in Ontario, and in both Elementary and Secondary pa... Read More →

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

1:45pm EDT

Resilience In Rural SettIngs - Debbie Brennick, Heather Sansom
Resilience in Rural Settings:

Abstract #72
An Asset-based Project to Enhance Community Wellness in a Rural Setting
Presenter: Debbie Brennick Co - Presenters: Claudette Taylor, Willena Nemeth
The “Asset Headquarters” project was an intergenerational community-based initiative in four rural towns in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  The initiative was grounded on the foundation of developmental assets with a goal to enhance capacity of youth by providing physical and human resources in four local communities. The project was intended to enhance, rather than duplicate, good work already being done in local communities.  Natural asset builders with an interest in capacity building in youth were sought to form intergenerational teams in each of the four communities.  The teams consisted of youth and adults with facilitators familiar with the asset development philosophy.  The teams met weekly and created goals and outcomes they wanted to achieve e.g. community garden, creative art displayed in the community.  Over a period of six months the teams worked toward reaching their goals.  Some teams remain together today and feedback from both adults and youth have been extremely positive.

Abstract #243
Sport For Resilience: Fostering Rural Youth Resilience Through Participation In Non-Therapy Equine-Based Activity
Presenter: Heather Sansom Co - Presenters: Harry Cummings, Leah Levac
Rural communities in Canada are changing. These changes include widening socioeconomic gaps amongst community members, and degraded infrastructure. Normative adversity associated with youth transition to adulthood is magnified in rural areas, where community-level changes are creating ecological conditions that can adversely affect youth. This leads to need for youth programming that is pro-actively inclusive of resilience needs.


Debbie Brennick

I am an Assistant Professor teaching in the BScN program at Cape Breton University. Prior to teaching I worked as a registered nurse in critical care nursing and quality management. My research focus relates to asset development and building capacity in youth. I have been involved... Read More →
avatar for Heather Sansom

Heather Sansom

PhD Student, University of Guelph
Heather Sansom is a PhD student in Rural Studies at the University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. Her doctoral work focuses on the intersections between rural wellbeing issues and rural recreation, sport-for-development, animal/nature based experiential... Read More →


Harry Cummings

Harry Cummings, Phd., Professor, University of Guelph and Director Harry Cummings and Associates. Harry has taught evaluation at the University of Guelph for 35 years. He is author of the CES short course on program logic models. He has practised international development and evaluation... Read More →

Willena Nemeth

Assistant Professor at Cape Breton University Willena is an Assistant Professor, Nursing at Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia. Her primary area of research is focused on building capacity in individuals specifically nursing students, new graduate nurses. Willena has collaborated... Read More →

Claudette Taylor

Associate Professor at Cape Breton University Claudette is an Associate Professor teaching in the Nursing program at Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia. Her PhD focused on the influence of cancer on sleep. A secondary area of interest is related to building capacity in youth. Claudette... Read More →

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

1:45pm EDT

Spirituality - Roseline Olumbe, Jim Robertson, Frederick Anyan

Abstract #92
Faith Communities: Impact on Public Health Provisiom
Presenter: Jim Robertson
Research and practice experience in NE England is illustrating the important role of faith, and faith motivated initiatives in people's health particularly in marginalised and disadvantaged communities. Experience suggests that faith can be a protective factor in health behaviours and outcomes. Faith communities are potentially important settings for public health interventions. Narratives from local people and actors illustrate that cultural and faith assumptions and conventions are intimately linked with understandings of health, around maintaining good health, and dealing with poor health. 
An action oriented research methodology using personal and community resilience concepts is accruing and summarising key evidence and identifying key themes for action by public health agencies and faith communities respectively and together. The process is also providing some important case studies and examples of good practice.  The presentation will encourage discernment re the methodology and some of the key themes. Progress will be reviewed re the evidencing of practical tools and approaches  that are evidence based and enable both faith communities and public health teams to take appropriate action.

Abstract #90
Spirituality as a Foundation of Resilience for Children Living in Low Income Communities
Presenter: Roseline Olumbe
Children within low income communities in Africa are faced with a myriad of challenges that affect their wellbeing. Their challenges include social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual. However, research shows that when these children embrace a spiritual foundation, they are able to forge on with life and make a living regardless of their circumstances. Spirituality has to do with helping children have a relationship with God. This relationship enables children develop a sense of meaning in life making them resilient. Shelly (1982) notes that spiritual needs are meaning of life, purpose of living, giving and receiving love, a sense of forgiveness, hope, creativity, responsibility and self-control. Children who have been enabled to meet these needs are found to be resilient. In a research conducted in Kibera, the major slum in Sub-Sahara Africa, it was noted that spirituality enables children find meaning and purpose in life. Out of 97 child participants, 45.4% claimed that their Christian faith was a source of influence in their lives. It was concluded that spirituality plays a major role in the lives of children enabling them to cope with life challenges. A recommendation was made for parents and other adults to intentionally nurture children’s spirituality.

Abstract #114
The Relationship Between Christian Religious Faith And Practices And Resilience In Person With Essential Hypertension From Ghana
Presenter: Frederick Anyan Co - Presenter: Odin Hjemdal
The objective of this qualitative study was to better understand coping mechanisms of selected essential hypertension patients in Accra, Ghana. Interviews were conducted. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to analyse data from five Christian participants between 45 to 60 years. Results showed that through a process of navigation and negotiation where participants selected from available resources, Christian religious faith and practices were protective resources that was selected to most likely influence positively mental and physical health related outcomes. In this process, the patients accessed social support and resources after activation of beliefs in religious faith and practices. The activation of faith and practices was also associated with increased self-efficacy. Consequently in re-appraisal, this resulted in an efficacy expectation and an avoidance strategy that protected participants from prolonged worry about their condition by deferring their condition to God and waiting for God to resolve the situation which resulted in a positive adaptation. This presentation highlights on the relationship between religion and resilience on one hand and sense of coherence on the other hand. For religious individuals, nurturing religious faith and practices so that it takes a prominent role can be protective and promote processes associated with resilience to inform clinical interventions.


Frederick Anyan

Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Frederick Anyan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with Philosophy from University of Ghana. He also holds a Master of Philosophy degree in Human development from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), where he is currently a PhD candidate in Health and... Read More →

Jim Robertson

Background in University Education: research and teaching social work, community Development, Registered Social Worker. Project consultant role with Faith Organisations. Co-director of Community Resilience Project in Disadvantaged communities. Current action oriented research and... Read More →

Roseline Olumbe

My name is Roseline Olumbe, a Kenyan citizen aged 40 years. I lecture at Daystar University, Kenya in the Child Development and Theology departments. I have researched and presented papers in the field of child D! evelopment both at local and international conferences. I have an interest... Read More →


Odin Hjemdal

Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Odin Hjemdal, professor of clinical adult psychology and quantitative methods and statistics, and a clinical psychologist at Department of Psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. His research is related to resilience among adults and adolescents... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm EDT
Frazee Room NAB 2nd Floor, King's College

1:45pm EDT

Trauma and Sexual Abuse - Robbie Gilligan, Frank Infurna, Wassilis Kassis
Trauma & Sexual Abuse:

Abstract #177
Learning from Children Exposed to Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation - Lessons from the Oak Foundation Bamboo Study on Children’s Resilience
Presenter: Robbie Gilligan 
The Bamboo study explored the relevance of resilience insights in less studied contexts, using children’s own accounts of living in conditions of adversity. For the purpose of the study adversity was defined as having been exposed to sexual abuse, or living in communities deemed as high risk for sexual abuse/exploitation. The study took place in three countries, Bulgaria, Ethiopia and Nepal.
The study had certain distinctive features: a focus on the child and young person’s experience and expertise (n=257); local research teams in each country; slightly different target samples in each country, all within the coordinated framework of the study.
The presentation will highlight selected key findings on what the young people found helpful and on the realities of their daily lives as they experienced them. It will also explore some possible implications for programme providers and resilience researchers, in terms of our understanding of the concept of resilience, and how it may play out in the wider context of adversities in the lives of children and young people

Abstract #194
Childhood Trauma Influences Daily Health-Promoting Behaviors: Personal and Social Resources Promote Resilience
Presenter: Frank Infurna Co - Presenters: Megan Petrov, Alex Zautra
Childhood trauma in the form of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse is associated with premature health declines in adulthood. Possible pathways that are conceptually understood to underlie this relationship, but less studied, are biological programming, behavioral tendencies, and social-emotion regulation. Using data from a 30-day daily diary of middle-aged community residents who participated in a study of resilience (n=191, Mage=54, SD=7.50, 54% women), our objective was to target the behavioral tendency pathway by examining whether (1)childhood trauma is associated with sleep quality and daily physical activity, and (2)personal (mastery and optimism) and social (family support and strain) resources moderated these associations. Results revealed that childhood trauma was associated with a decreased likelihood of daily physical activity in midlife; optimism increased the likelihood of daily physical activity for those who reported high levels of childhood trauma. Childhood trauma was associated with poorer sleep quality; this relationship was attenuated by positive family relationships in midlife. Our results suggest that childhood trauma leads to poorer health in midlife through reductions in health-promoting behaviors. However, personal and social resources provide avenues for resilience that increase engagement in health-promoting behaviors. Our discussion focuses on how our findings inform resilience-promoting interventions to help mitigate the detrimental health effects of childhood trauma.

Abstract #205
First and Second Level Resilience: The Differential Impact of Family Violence on Adolescents
Presenter: Wassilis Kassis Co - Presenter: Sibylle Artz
Our central question was: Is a positive resilience status (being non-violent/non-depressive despite experiencing family violence) a sufficient indicator for positive social and personal development? To answer this question we computed participants’ average protective and risk factors scores and used variance analyses to compare the means of the specific protective and risk factors of resilient adolescents who had experienced family violence with those who had not.  We found that a positive resilience status is not sufficient for positive social and personal development. Resilient students who had been exposed to family violence showed significantly higher levels of social and personal risks and lower levels of social and personal protective characteristics than students without family violence experiences. These findings indicate that despite a positive resilience status, the higher the experienced level of violence family, the higher the risk characteristics and the lower the protective characteristics, even for resilient students, such that high levels of family violence “wash out” young people’s chances of positive development.


Frank Infurna

Dr. Frank J. Infurna is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University. His research broadly focuses on examining resilience in adulthood and old age with an emphasis on examining mechanisms linking early life adversity to health in adulthood and old age and personal... Read More →
avatar for Robbie Gilligan

Robbie Gilligan

Professor of Social Work and Social Policy, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin
Robbie is Professor of Social Work and Social Policy, at Trinity College Dublin

Wassilis Kassis

Wassilis Kassis, PhD, holds a Full Professorial Chair for Educational Science at the University Osnabrück/Germany. For more than 20 years, Kassis develops and coordinates projects of research on the social development of young adults within the context of family and school at national... Read More →


Megan Petrov

Assistant Professor of Nursing at Arizona State University Dr. Megan Petrov is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Arizona State University. Her research broadly focuses on sleep, sleep disorders, health disparities, and pain and personal and social resources that promote resilience... Read More →

Alex Zautra

Foundation Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University Dr. Alex Zautra is a Foundation Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University. His research broadly focuses on emotions, stress, and health and promoting resilience in adulthood and old age. His research also focuses... Read More →

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

1:45pm EDT

Youth Headed Households - Mary Joyce Kapesa, Zoleka Soji, Kelly Schwartz
Youth Headed Households:

Abstract #203
Cultural Manifestations of Resilience in Child Headed Households in Mutasa District, Zimbabwe
Presenter: Mary Joyce Kapesa
According to UNICEF and UNAIDS (2006) Zimbabwe had 50 000 child headed households (CHH) in 2002.  By 2010, the figure had gone up to more than 100 000, making Zimbabwe the African country with the highest number of CHH (UNICEF, 2010). These statistics gave rise to the sprouting of many organisations and programmes aimed at catering for the needs of the affected children. Not much attention is given to what the CHH can do for themselves and how they have been surviving without outside help. A qualitative study was undertaken to explore the experiences of children living in CHH and the factors that make them resilient.  A total of 28 children in ten CHH from Mutasa and Mutare urban districts participated in the study. Focus group discussions and qualitative interviews were used to collecte from 46 community members, 24 teachers and, 25 child service professionals.   The data was thematically analysed.The research findings indicate bi- directional influences of the CHH’s personal characteristics and an enabling environment that allowed the children to act on their strengths in a way that produced desired outcomes. The meaning of resilience was also explored from the perspective of the CHH and community leaders and members.

 Abstract #251
Resilience in Youth-Headed Households: Strengthening Networks of Support as Protective Factors
Presenter: Zoleka Soji Co - Presenter: Blanche Pretorius
The study seeks to explore and describe the protective factors within youth-headed families and community context that promote the resilience of youth-headed households.  
The study is based on the narrative life stories of six youth-headed families in Port Elizabeth, who were able to remain together as a family following the death of parents as well as perceptions of community members regarding the availability of protective factors within the community that promote resilience of these households. Data collection was conducted utilising multiple methods, such as one-on-one individual interviews with young people heading their households, family focus group interviews as well as both qualitative and quantitative methods to generate data regarding community protective factors and processes. 
The findings illustrate the following factors within the family and the community as playing a role in the enhancement of resilience of members of youth-headed households: availability of circles of care and social networks for the individual and the family as a whole within the community, strong family and social relationships within the family, religious and cultural affiliations and practices, availability of communication and problem solving skills at family levels, as well as, an ability to create hope. The findings also identified the need to build and strengthen communities through assert-based and community development approaches as part of efforts geared towards promoting resilience in youth-headed households.

Abstract #246
 For Crying Out Loud: Seeking and Finding Developmental Assets in Rural South African Township Youth 
Presenter: Kelly Schwartz
Contrary to a deficit-based approach, positive youth development (PYD) explores how personal and social environments can be studied to promote adaptive functioning (Damon, 2004; Lerner, 2004). Operationalizing this PYD framework, Zulu youth (N=511; M=16.3 years) from three rural township high schools completed the Developmental Assets Profile (DAP; Search Institute, 2005) that measured external (e.g., empowerment, support) and internal (e.g., positive values, social competency) assets. Risk and thriving behaviours were measured using the Orphans and Vulnerable Children Baseline Survey (Scope and Family Health International, 2002).  
Although almost one in five reported (17%) assets in the “low” range (e.g., constructive use of time), many youth reported developmental assets in the “good” and “fair” ranges (e.g., learning, boundaries and expectations). Multiple regression analysis revealed that specific internal and external assets accounted for significant variance in school success (R = .31), health behaviour (R = .29), community engagement (R = .32), and risk behaviour (R = .38); neither asset category significantly predicted access to food/medicine or reduced violence victimization.  Amidst a cultural context of significant risk, Zulu youth reported developmental assets that predicted thriving and risk outcomes.  Discussion will connect the presence and power of developmental strengths to local Zulu youth leadership programs.


Desira Davids

Nelson Mandela University

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 →

Mary Joyce Kapesa

Africa University
I am a Psychology lecturer at Africa University, currently studying for my my PhD in Psychology at UNISA. I am a registered psychologist. I am a Fullbright Scholar and was awarded the staff development award in 2009/2010. I attended Purdue University as a Fullbright scholar during... Read More →


Blanche Pretorius

Dr. at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Dr Blanche Pretorius is the Director of the Research Capacity Development unit at the Nelson Mandela metropolitan University. She is also involved in student research in her role as a promoter and supervisor. She has successfully accompanied... Read More →

Wednesday June 17, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm EDT
Seminar Room NAB 2nd Floor, King's College