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Wekerle CIHR Team - Supporting Youth in Adversity, in Transition and in Community


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Supporting Youth in Adversity, in Transition and in Community

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Wekerle CIHR Team - Supporting Youth in Adversity, in Transition and in Community

  1. 1. Supporting youth in adversity, in transition, and in community Adolescent resilience: : Focus on Practical Strategies Christine Wekerle, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Pediatrics McMaster University Email: Twitter: @ResilienceInYou @DrWekerle Website: International Network in Child and Youth Resilience
  2. 2. Positive Research Trends: Youth OVERALL POPULATION TRENDS (from Child Trends) • More teens volunteering in their communities • Steady decrease in teen pregnancies and births (27/1000 US teens) • Decrease in high school drop-out rate • Decrease in teen mortality due to car accidents • Increase in use of seatbelts • Decrease in drunk driving • Increasing % of “substance free” high schoolers (abstinence) • About 3% of students (about 33,400) smoke cigarettes on a daily basis • Fewer teens in juvenile detention; fewer reporting being in a physical fight past year • Decrease in binge-drinking (US); All substances 1999-2013 (ON) • Increase in marijuana use; increase in OTC cold/cough misuse (ON) • Check out: Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (CAMH) 2013
  3. 3. Why Promote Resilience? • Increasingly, we live in a world of change in which resilience and ability to adapt to change are highly valued • Recent 2014 British report on “flux” in the workplace indicates that resilient workers are highly preferred • Resilience promotion helps minimize adjustment problems and stress, maximize well- being/happiness • Need for resilience promotion suggested by growing concerns about mental health problems among youth and young adults
  4. 4. Resilience Definition Capacity of a dynamic system to adapt successfully to disturbances that threaten system function viability or development (Masten, 2014) Types: unaffected/resistant; recovery; normalization; transformation/post- traumatic growth; hidden • Masten Free Resilience Course (Feb 2015-March 2015):
  5. 5. Mattering • At the root of many resilience stories is that one key person who makes the at risk person feel like he or she matters (Dweck) science-of-mattering/ • Often this means spending time with youth in non-achievement pursuits • A sense of mattering is a highly protective resource that promotes self- esteem; but anti-mattering experiences strip self-esteem Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words - Goethe
  6. 6. New RealitiesFacingYouth: VirtualConnections Sexting • 20% middle school youth report receiving a sext • 5% report sending a sext • Students who text 100/day were 2.4 more likely to receive a sext and 4.5 more likely to send a sext • Sext involvement linked with being sexually active, unprotected sex • Clinicians should discuss sexting as early sexual debut is linked with STIs and teen pregnancies (Rice et al. , 2014 in Pediatrics) Differential Language Analysis • Lexicons reflect the group (or sub-group) and words matter • From 15.4 million postings - Facebook word analyses, males use the word “my” more often than females when signaling a relationship • Social activities (sports, church, meetings etc.) correlate w/ emotional stability • (Schwartz et al., 2013 in PLOS ONE)
  7. 7. Practical Strategy: Resilience as an everyday practice System in Balance (Physical Regulation) Healthy nutrition and team sports participation were found to have a positive effect on academic performance (Busch et al., 2014). Sleep hygiene a critical issue for youth! Healthy Coping (Emotion Regulation) • Males persist in sensation-seeking longer than females and slower in developing impulse control, Shullman et al., 2014. • Practice in soothing and sustained attention – repetitive actions (cycling, running, rowing, yoga, etc.), deep breathing practice, yoga, gaming (true!) • Institute of Medicine – Neuroscience of Gaming Report m_campaign=2056533b0e- 2_18.23_15_New_WIBS&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_211686812e-2056533b0e- 180169033 Social Connections (Attachment, Affiliation, Social Capital; Neighbourhood Cohesion) Big Brothers/Big Sisters effective program Motivation – Mindsets Matter (CBT + Tutoring > Male Academics, Cook et al., 2014) • Evidence for matching personality style to change target (Conrod, Stewart brief intervention)
  8. 8. 8 COMMON THINKING TRAPS  Anxiety 1) Jumping to conclusions: judging a situation based on assumptions as opposed to definitive facts 2) Mental filtering: Paying attention to the negative details in a situation while ignoring the positive 3) Magnifying: magnifying negative aspects in a situation 4) Minimizing: minimizing positive aspects in a situation 5) Personalizing: assuming the blame for problems even when you are not primarily responsible 6) Externalizing: pushing the blame for problems onto others even when you are primarily responsible 7) Overgeneralizing: concluding that one bad incident will lead to a repeated pattern of defeat 8) Emotional reasoning: assuming your negative emotions translate into reality, or confusing feelings with facts Going to Accurate Thinking – Be The Scientist – Get Facts – Experiment! Practical Process for Tackling Thinking (The 3C’s): (1) Check for common thought holes (Am I thinking about this logically?) (2) Collect evidence to paint an accurate picture (Am I in possession of all the facts?) (3) Challenge the original thoughts (Am I going through my options?)
  9. 9. Minfulness Guide to Problem-solving
  10. 10. Mindfulness is a mindset and set of skills • Impulisivity increasingly identified in research as a core issue to unhealthy coping • Teaching youth: Be prepared to pause • Use the 3C’s : Check-in with others for feedback • Check: Am I thinking about this logically? • Collect: Am I in possession of all the facts? • Challenge: Am I going through all my options? • Video Clip •
  11. 11. Figure 1. Examples of the stimuli used in natural, built, and geometric conditions. Berry MS, Sweeney MM, Morath J, Odum AL, et al. (2014) The Nature of Impulsivity: Visual Exposure to Natural Environments Decreases Impulsive Decision-Making in a Delay Discounting Task. PLoS ONE 9(5): e97915. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097915
  12. 12. Resilience: Positive Connections MentalHealthSuper-Hero clip: ResilienceApproachtoSuicideRisk:
  13. 13. Picturing Wellness Conference April 2016, McMaster University for details Thank you for listening!