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Concurrent Plenary Presentations [clear filter]
Thursday, June 18


Plenary by Dr. Michael Ungar and Dr. Linda Liebenberg "The Resilience Research Centre: A Report on Findings and their Application to Practice"
The Resilience Research Centre: A Report on Findings and their Application to Practice
Speakers: Michael Ungar, Linda Liebenberg
The Pathways to Resilience Research Project examines service use patterns, personal and ecological risk factors, and aspects of resilience of youth across different cultures, contexts, and with complex service histories. This mixed methods study is taking place in Canada, China, Colombia, New Zealand, and South Africa. In all five countries, we partner with communities and service providers to identify: 1) The culturally specific aspects of resilience that young people use to cope with problems; 2) The psychological, social, and environmental risks that young people face; and 3) Young people’s service use patterns, i.e. their use of services like Child Welfare, Corrections, Mental Health, and Special Educational Services, their use of informal supports from their family and communities, and their use of informal services provided by communities and local not-for-profit organizations. This presentation will review findings from the qualitative and quantitative data, discussing the implications for service provision.

avatar for Linda Liebenberg

Linda Liebenberg

Linda is a methodologist, whose research examines the use of both image-based methods and mixed method research designs. She also considers how these facilitate an understanding of young people in marginalised contexts, as well as how these data inform instrument development. She... Read More →
avatar for Michael Ungar

Michael Ungar

Dr. Michael Ungar wears many professional hats. He is equally well known as the author of books for parents and caregivers as he is for his world-renowned research on the topic of resilience. As a writer he has adapted ideas from his research and clinical practice into best selling... Read More →

Thursday June 18, 2015 11:00am - 12:15pm
McInnes Room Student Union Building, Dalhousie University
Friday, June 19


Plenary speaker Alcinda Honwana "How to Influence Social Policy to Build Resilience"
Youth Resilience and Social Protest in Africa
Speaker: Alcinda Honwana
Africa is the world’s youngest continent. Although in the past decades the continent has experienced considerable economic growth, this has not translated into job creation and greater equity. Massive unemployment and lack of sustainable livelihoods have severely affected the younger generation who find it difficult to carve out a decent future. Most young Africans are living in a period of suspension between childhood and adulthood that I call ‘waithood’. In this state of limbo, young people create their own 'youthscapes' to cope with the daily challenges in their lives. In the past few years, youth street protests are challenging the status quo and contesting socioeconomic policies and governance strategies that exacerbate poverty, heighten social inequalities, and deny them basic freedoms. Counteracting the idea that youth are apathetic, young men and women struggling with waithood, in Africa and elsewhere in the world, are emerging as active social agents. What will be the result of these youth movements? Will young people be able to sustain them beyond street protests and hold onto the promise for more equitable societies?

avatar for Alcinda Honwana

Alcinda Honwana

Alcinda Honwana worked as a Professor and Chair of International Development (Africa) at the Open University. She was also the director of the International Development Centre (IDC) an OU inter-faculty centre that focused on research and interventions on issues of international development... Read More →

Friday June 19, 2015 8:30am - 10:00am
Archibald Room NAB 3rd Floor, King's College


Plenary speaker Christine Wekerle "Researching Resilience in Youth: Practical Strategies and Aboriginal Perspectives"
Researching Resilience in Youth: Practical Strategies and Aboriginal Perspectives
Speaker: Christine Wekerle
Presented alongside Sherry Stewart, Marlyn Bennett, and Diane Obed. For Aboriginal youth, there are various contexts of adversity and many more contexts of resilience. Globally, this is the decade for youth, and Aboriginal youth populations are growing, creating a unique opportunity for youth engagement and prevention. Key prevention issues are suicidality, substance abuse, mental health. The practical strategies providing support to a building resilience mindset, recognition of cultural, community, and signature strengths and, importantly, a coherent vocal and imaginative personal narrative are among the emergent evidence-based interventions for Aboriginal youth and as cross-over applications to non-Aboriginal youth. This plenary panel will discuss the evidence and highlight some future opportunities, especially in the support of male mental health and the recognition of and resilience from sexual exploitation.

avatar for Christine Wekerle

Christine Wekerle

Dr. Wekerle is an Associate Professor in Pediatrics and an Associate Member of the Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University. She obtained her Ph.D. (Clinical Psychology) in 1995 from The University of Western Ontario, an American and Canadian Psychological Association... Read More →

Friday June 19, 2015 8:30am - 10:00am
Seminar Room NAB 2nd Floor, King's College


Plenary speaker Donna Mertens "Transformative, Mixed Methods Resilience Research"
Transformative, Mixed Methods Resilience Research
Speaker: Donna Mertens
Members of marginalized communities, such as deaf people and women and girls with disabilities, are seldom represented in the design of programs and research that are supposed to resolve challenges that they face. A transformative mixed methods approach to research provides one mechanism for providing an evidence-based strategy to increase the presence of members of marginalized communities in the development of solutions and the assessment of their effectiveness. Many of the challenges experienced by people in developing countries, or in developed countries by virtue of living in poverty, have solutions that are based on an understanding of culture and context that are not commonly privileged in the research world. Transformative researchers strive to understand the challenges and resilience present in marginalized communities as a way forward to determining how to bring scientific knowledge from a culturally responsive perspective into the search for solutions to such wicked problems as education, employment, food insecurity, natural disasters, clean water and sanitation.

avatar for Donna Mertens

Donna Mertens

Donna M. Mertens is Professor in the Department of Education at Gallaudet University. She teaches research methods and program evaluation to deaf and hearing students at the MA and PhD levels. She conducts research and evaluation studies on such topics as improvement of special... Read More →

Friday June 19, 2015 8:30am - 10:00am
KTS Lecture Hall NAB 2nd Floor, King's College


Plenary speaker Fons van de Vijver "Longitudinal Research on Resilience"
Longitudinal Research on Resilience
Speaker: Fon van de Vijver
Change and growth are important parts of resilience. In this presentation I start with a brief history of the measurement of change and describe how in qualitative and quantitative approaches change has been studied. The common problem of both traditions is to identify change against a backdrop of stability: What has changed and what has remained the same over time? Notably the quantitative tradition has a rich history in measuring change. Starting from the fundamental problems as observed by Bereiter in 1963 (such as the unreliability of change scores), I will indicate how we have progressed. Particular attention will be paid to multilevel modeling as the most up-to-date procedure for modeling change. Examples will be drawn from the resilience literature to illustrate the basic problems and solutions.

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 →

Friday June 19, 2015 8:30am - 10:00am
Haliburton Room A&A Main Floor, King's College


Plenary speaker Kwame McKenzie "Application of Resilience Theory to Services for Socially Marginalized Youth"
Application of Resilience Theory to Services for Socially Marginalized Youth
Speaker: Kwame McKenzie
In a recent paper published by the British Medical Association, an international group of specialists concluded that the current WHO definition of health was unobtainable and a better way to consider health was the ability to adapt and to be resilient. Similarly mental health may be considered in part the ability to adapt and be resilient psychologically. This lays down a significant challenge to society. Rather than developing “ mental health” services that mainly treat illness, a more balanced approach would be to develop services which promote mental resilience. Furthermore, if resilience is conceptualized as a multi-level phenomenon then, in order to promote an individual’s level of resilience, services should also consider what needs to be done at an environmental level. This would be especially important in the more challenging environments that some marginalized youth are brought up in. This presentation will discuss the implications of resilience theory for mental health services for marginalized youth using Antenna mental health services in the UK as an example.

avatar for Kwame McKenzie

Kwame McKenzie

Dr. McKenzie is Medical Director of Underserved Populations; Access & Transitions at CAMH. As a Senior Scientist, he specializes in Systems and Health Equity Research at CAMH. Additionally, Dr. McKenzie is Director of the Social Aetiology of Mental Illness (SAMI) CIHR Training Centre... Read More →

Friday June 19, 2015 8:30am - 10:00am
Alumni Hall NAB 1st Floor, King's College