Do increased levels of wellbeing lead to increased levels of resilience in adolescents, Paul Jose
Paul Jose Victoria Univ. of WellingtonPaper presented at NZPS conference, Wellington, April 21, 2012
In psychiatric theory and research, there is a long-standing interest in identifying risk factors in development Risk factors are influences that heighten the odds of greater maladaptation, i.e., an alcoholic parent is predictive of poorer outcomes in children Similarly,research has tried to identify factors that protect against maladaptation Resilience factors lessen the odds of greater maladaptation, i.e., social resources like intact families as well as internal characteristics such as a sense of humour
Norman Garmezy originated the study of resilient children in the early 1970s, using an epidemiological approach: who gets sick and who doesn’t? Emmy Werner in the early 1980s wrote a book on poor children growing up in Kauai, an island in Hawai’i. Some children at risk did not do poorly = “resilient children”. Anthony, E.J. (1987). Risk, vulnerability, and resilience: An overview. In E.J. Anthony & B.J. Cohler (Eds.), The invulnerable child (pp.3-48). New York: Guilford Press.
Initialformulations of resilience located the “good stuff” in the person, i.e., “the invulnerable child” But following Bronfenbrenner’s emphasis on the interactions between person and their multiple contexts, resilience research has evolved to be more process-oriented Today, we believe that resilient children and adolescents possess certain qualities that allow them to interact with their contexts well
Resilience is imputed when one sees: good outcomes regardless of high-risk status, constant competence under stress, recovery from trauma, and using challenges for growth that makes future hardships more tolerable (post-traumatic growth). The emphasis, you will note, is on doing well in the face of hardship. Growing consensus that resilient individuals are successful because of: Adaptive coping strategies and Social resources
Previously it was thought that resilience was primarily genetically based, but research does not support the view that it is mostly determined in this way; And Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory would argue that social influences should account for a significant proportion. Focus of the present study: Does a sense of greater well-being or positive affect foster or increase resilient tendencies one year later? B. Fredrickson’s “broaden-and-build” theory states that higher positive affect fosters great competence and striving (resilience?)
Imeasured three constructs that I thought would be related to each other over time: Resilient cognitions about the self; Positive affect; and Well-being (aspirations; pos relations with others; and confidence)Isought to test the particular process model presented on the next page
We proposed that positive affect and positive adjustment would lead to greater resilience over time But these three variables are likely to be related to each other in interesting and complicated ways. We also thought it possible that: Resilience Well-being Resilience Positive affect Secondary hypothesis: there may be supportive bi-directional relationships among these three variables over time
Jan Pryor and I received financial support from the FRST Foundation to study adolescent development over three years Focus of this research endeavour was to study the function of social connectedness in promoting better adjustment in adolescents It was a large scale longitudinal (once a year for three years) study largely representative of NZ youth
1,774 New Zealand adolescents (10-15 years at Y1) participated in a self-report study annually for three years Recruited from about 100 schools scattered around the North Island Almost a nationally representative sample: fewer rural kids, overrepresentation of Maori, no South Island participants All measures yielded Cronbach’s alphas > .80.
Wagnild and Young’s Resilience Scale (1993). The four items were: “I keep myself busy and interested in things”, “I try not to take things too seriously”, “My belief in myself gets me through hard times” and “I can find a way to fix my problems”. Well-being consisted of three subscales of 3 or 4 items each adapted from the Ryff Wellbeing Scales (Ryff & Keyes, 1995): aspirations, positive relations with others, and confidence.
Positive Affect: 3 items from the CES-D (Radloff, 1977): I enjoyed life. I was happy. I felt hopeful about the future.
Lap-top computers were used to present the questionnaires in an interactive fashion to adolescents Quiet room at school, up to 30 computers Teacher and researcher always present About 350 questions were asked but we used skips and branches to minimise the amount of time involved
A repeated-measures MANOVA showed that: Positive affect and well-being decreased slightly over 3 years, but Resilience did not change much Theseresults are generally supportive of the views that: resilience is trait-like, and that adolescent positive affect decreases during middle adolescence Butthis doesn’t tell us how these variables are related to each other
Positive Positive PositiveAffect Affect Affect T3 T1 T2 Well-being Well-being Well-being T1 T2 T3 Resilience Resilience Resilience T1 T2 T3
Positive Positive Positive Affect Affect Affect T1 T2 T3 .16*** .13****Well-being Well-being Well-being T1 T2 T3 .20*** .24*** .15*** .07*Resilience Resilience Resilience T1 T2 T3
Well-being predicted increases in resilience over time, however Positive affect did not predict increases in resilience over time Resilience and well-being manifested a bi- directional relationship with each other over time
Itseems that we obtained some support for Fredrickson’s broaden-and-build theory in that an adolescent with higher well-being at a given point in time is likely to report higher resilience at a later point in time (residualised: change in resilience). Positive affect (being happy) seems to be an outcome, not a driver of later states Resilience fosters greater well-being, and well-being in turn fosters greater resilience
SEM is a good method for examining mediational relationships across time Did we find any mediational relationships? Positive Positive Positive Affect T1 Affect T2 Affect T3 .16*** .13**** Well-being Well-being Well-being T1 T2 T3 .20*** .24*** .15*** .07* Resilience Resilience Resilience T1 T2 T3
We would like to know how well-being leads to greater resilience: what is the “mechanism”? And we would like to know how resilience leads to greater well-being
Well-being T1 ?????? T2One can examine these relationships in SEM(longitudinal mediation), but there is another Resiliencetechnique which I think is more flexible and powerful: T3mediation with latent growth curve modeling (LGCMs),described by David MacKinnon.
Resilience Well- slope being slope Mediator slope“Slope” refers to change in the variable over the three timesof measurement.
Two basic relationships, given our previous findings, were probed: Well-being Resilience, and Resilience Well-beingIexamined numerous potential mediators, and some proved to yield significant mediation and some did not
IV Mediator Indirect/ DV Direct ratio Reliable Alliance (+) .54** Guidance (+) .38**Resilience Reassurance of .65** Well-being Worth (+) Lack of self- .09* confidence (-) Avoidance (-) .30**
IV Mediator Indirect/ DV Direct ratio Lack of self- .07* confidence (-)Well-being Rumination (-) .30** Resilience Avoidance (-) .79**
Resilience seems to lead to both increased positive attributes AND decreased negative attributes, which in turn lead to greater well- being Higher social provisions (Cutrona & Russell) Lower lack of self-confidence, avoidance Well-being seems to lead to greater resilience only through reductions in negative dynamics Lower lack of self-confidence, rumination, and avoidance The bi-directional relationship may be due to the reduction in negative processes
We need to separate the hedonic (being happy) from the eudaimonic (meaning of life) better so that we can identify how each contributes to resilience separately How do these variables relate to coping strategies (problem-solving, reframing, etc.), social support, and social connectedness? We intend to investigate moderators as well: age, gender, ethnicity, rural/urban, etc.
Resilience may be at least partly promoted by experiencing well-being Resilience and well-being seem to support each other Perhaps we can teach strategies that will support or promote resilience and well- being?
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