A Comprehensive Review of Core Resilience Elements and Indicators: Findings of Relevance to Children and Youth
Linda Liebenberg and Natacha Joubert
Resilience is core to improving Canadians’ mental health. It is therefore important to expand our understanding of key resilience elements – individuals assets, relational and contextual resources - as they develop throughout the life course; as they relate to Canadian heterogeneity, including Indigenous, immigrant and refugee, African-Canadian and LGBTQ2 communities; and, in the context of chronic/daily stress as well as extreme stress, trauma, violence and marginalised socioeconomic settings. Meaning-making frameworks and processes appear as essential mechanisms in the enactment of personal agency, guiding the use of resilience assets and resources to achieve and maintain positive mental health. This brief report shares findings of a comprehensive literature review, discussing their relevance to children and youth, concluding with implications for related programs and policy.
Resilience Portfolios and Poly-Strengths: Identifying Strengths Associated with Wellbeing after Adversity
Caroline Moisan, Martine Hébert, Mylène Fernet, Martin Blais and Laetitia Mélissande Amédée
Objectives: This study aimed to describe the prevalence of traumas and strengths in a representative sample of Quebec youth and to test whether poly-strengths were associated with low psychological distress, after controlling for poly-traumas. Method: Using data from the Quebec Youths’ Romantic Relationships survey (QYRRS), hierarchical logistic regressions were conducted to examine the relationship between poly-strengths and low levels of psychological distress, and to identify which strengths were associated with outcomes, after accounting for demographic variables and individuals’ experiences of traumas. Results: More than a third of the sample experienced 4 traumas or more (37.0%). The average number of experienced traumas was 3.04 out of 10 measured traumas. More than half of the sample had at least 5 strengths, the average number of strengths being 3.95 (out of 8). Two third (67.6%) of the sample did not suffer from psychological distress. Among poly-victims, half of the participants (49.6%) showed clinical symptoms of distress. Poly-strengths were uniquely associated with low of clinical distress. After accounting for demographics and poly-traumas, poly-strengths explained 24.2% of the variance of low levels of psychological distress. Self-esteem, optimism, parental support and attachment, number of sources of support, social support (seeking secure base), and capacity to adapt (resiliency) were uniquely associated with low levels of distress. Conclusion and Implications: The combination of strengths decreases the likelihood of experiencing clinical levels of psychological distress, which can contribute to healthy functioning in context of adversities. Findings highlight the importance of promoting multiple and diverse strengths among youth.
Barbara Fallon, Mark Kartusch, Joanne Filippelli, Nico Trocmé, Tara Black, Parlin Chan, Praveen Sawh and Nicolette Joh-Carnella
A university-child welfare agency partnership between the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto and Highland Shores Children’s Aid (Highland Shores), a child welfare agency in Ontario, allowed for the identification and examination of ten questions to which every child welfare organization should know the answers. Using data primarily from the Ontario Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (OCANDS), members of the partnership were able to answer these key questions about the children and families served by Highland Shores and the services provided to children and families. The Ontario child welfare sector has experienced challenges in utilizing existing data sources to inform practice and policy. The results of this partnership illustrate how administrative data can be used to answer relevant, field-driven questions. Ultimately, the answers to these questions are valuable to the broader child welfare sector and can help to enhance agency accountability and improve services provided to vulnerable children and their families.
Scottye J. Cash
Technology may seem like a friend one day, a foe another depending on how and why it is being used. In today’s world, we are inundated with social media, smart phones, tvs, and cars. Our ability to harness technology to make our lives a better place is a noble goal, however our ability to harness technology to enhance our research skills is absolutely necessary. The current paper explores the ways in which technology has been used and can be used to better understand child maltreatment and domestic violence. Overall, the message is clear, integrating technology-based research methods and practical approaches to helping vulnerable populations is one of this generations’ paradigm shifts. Technology coupled with sound research methodologies can help move us forward in our exploration and understanding of social problems and interventions.
Self-Compassion as a Compensatory Resilience Factor for the Negative Emotional Outcomes of Alcohol- Involved Sexual Assault among Undergraduates
N.J. Strickland, C. Wekerle, I.L. Kehayes, K. Thompson, K. Dobson and S.H. Stewart
Objectives: Approximately half of sexual assaults involve alcohol; these assaults tend to be more severe and may be more likely to result in negative emotional outcomes like anxiety and depression (Ullman & Najdowski, 2010). Self-compassion (SC; extending kindness and care towards oneself) may promote resilience from the negative emotional consequences of alcohol-involved sexual assault (AISA). This study examined SC as a resilience factor, testing whether it attenuates and/or counteracts the association between AISA and negative emotional outcomes. Methods: Undergraduate drinkers (N = 785) completed measures tapping past-term AISA (Kehayes, et al., 2019), SC (i.e., Self-Compassion Scale; Neff, 2003), and anxiety and depression (Kessler et al., 2002). The Self-Compassion Scale was scored as two higherorder domains (self-caring, self-criticism) each with three lower-order facets (self-kindness, mindfulness, and common humanity; over-identification, self-judgment, and isolation). Results: Supporting compensatory effects, the higher-order SC domains showed main effects: the presence of self-caring and relative absence of self-criticism counteracted the adverse effects of AISA on both anxiety and depression. Similarly, the lower-order SC facets showed main effects: the presence of self-kindness and relative absence of overidentification counteracted the adverse effects of AISA on anxiety/depression – with therelative absence of self-judgment and isolation additionally counteracting the effect of AISA on depression. Conclusion: SC works as a compensatory resilience factor for the association between AISA and anxiety/depression. Implications: SC interventions with attention towards increasing self-kindness and decreasing negative facets of SC may be important for negative emotional outcomes in general, including those following AISA.
“Make Resilience Matter” for Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence Project: Mobilizing Knowledge to Action Using a Research Contributions Framework
Ramona Alaggia, Sarah Morton and Cathy Vine
Objective: This article describes using a Research Contribution Framework (RCF) (Morton, 2015a), to plan and document the progress of knowledge mobilization (KMb) efforts for the Make Resilience Matter (MRM) for Children Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) study. Research uptake, use and impact activities were planned for this project designed to identify how to foster resilience-informed practice with children exposed to IPV. This KMb strategy is useful for planning and considering how we engage knowledge users, context, environmental impact, unexpected developments, and the complexities of doing research and mobilizing results in the “real world” of practice. The benefits of mapping RCF onto KMb planning and lessons learned may be transferred to other projects. Method: First we outline RCF; second, we describe the MRM project; third we apply RCF to the MRM project detailing a process for engaging knowledge users and planning and tracking research uptake, use and impact. The trans-theoretical theory of change (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1982) is used to understand readiness to change in relation to research uptake and use. An overarching feminist theoretical understanding of gender based violence (Hawkesworth, 2006; Heise, 1998) helps to inform our awareness of the socio-political context. Results: Research uptake, use, and impact as applied to the MRM project are presented. An outcomes chain (Morton, 2015a) is offered to help trace engagement/involvement, activities/outputs, awareness/reactions, knowledge/attitudes, and anticipated practice behaviour change. Four guiding principles emerged from our experience which may helpto inform future KMb efforts.