Resilience in Aboriginal Children and Adolescents in Out-of-Home Care: A Test of an Initial Explanatory Model Katharine M. Filbert School of Psychology.

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  • Resilience in Aboriginal Children and Adolescents in Out-of-Home Care: A Test of an Initial Explanatory Model Katharine M. Filbert School of Psychology Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS) University of Ottawa, ON, Canada
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  • Presentation Overview Background Information: Aboriginal children and adolescents Resilience Developmental assets High levels of functioning Methodology Results Implications Limitations Future Research
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  • Aboriginal Children and Adolescents 30-40% (80,000) of young people in foster care in Canada < 5% (27,000) of the general youth population (Gough, Trocm, Brown, Knoke, & Blackstock, 2005) Have heightened risks
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  • Resilience Positive adaptation during or following adversity or serious threats to development Inferred from judgments about: quality of an individuals functioning or development exposure to a threat to functioning or development Not a personality trait or attribute
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  • Developmental Assets ( 40 developmental assets organized into eight categories and further divided into external and internal factors: - External assets: Support Empowerment Boundaries and Expectations Constructive Use of Time - Internal assets: Commitment to Learning Positive Values Social Competencies Positive Identity
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  • Comparison of Average Number of Developmental Assets Per Youth In United States (Search Institute sample): 18 In Canada (OnLAC sample): 27.5 Differences between samples in: measures rating sources average quality of placement homes ratings
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  • High Levels of Functioning in Aboriginal Youth Research has indicated that developmental assets explained 47% of the variance in high levels of functioning (Scales et al., 2000) Important developmental assets: other adult relationships personal power sense of purpose caring cultural competence responsibility valuing diversity leadership school success
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  • Resilience of In-Care Youth % of youth identified as resilient varies widely within and across studies Small to moderate number of maltreated youth are typically competent in one or more developmental tasks within at least one point in time In general, resilient functioning is less common in maltreated children than those who have experienced other familial adversities (Legault, Anawati, & Flynn, 2006)
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  • Resilience of Aboriginal Youth (Lalonde, 2006) Promotion of culture is related to increased resilience Aboriginal communities with restored self- government had 85% lower risk of youth suicide than those communities without In communities that controlled and implemented plans for children in care, youth suicide rate was 25% lower than communities without this control
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  • Purpose of the Present Study To examine resilience-promoting factors (Masten, 2006) on the child, family, and community level that are associated with positive mental health and educational outcomes in an Aboriginal sample of youths living in out-of-home care.
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  • Participants 103 First Nations youths 48 females (M = 13.40 years; SD = 2.05) 55 males (M = 13.16 years; SD = 1.92) aged 10-17 years drawn from year five (2005-2006) of the larger Looking After Children in Ontario (OnLAC) project
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  • Assessment and Action Record (second Canadian adaptation; AAR-C2; Flynn et al., 2006) Mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services for use every year, with all young people who have been in foster care in Ontario for a year or more 7 outcome domains: (1) health (2) education (3) identity (4) family and social relationships (5) social presentation (6) emotional and behavioural development (7) self-care skills
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  • Predictor Variables Age (M = 13.27 years; SD = 1.98) Gender (48 females; 55 males) Cumulative risk (M = 6.09; SD = 3.34 ) First Nations cultural opportunities (M = 1.37; SD = 1.34 ) Developmental assets (M = 27.00; SD = 7.84)
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  • Outcome Measures Pro-social Total Difficulties Score General Self-Esteem Education
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  • Pro-social Scale (N = 102) *
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  • Total Difficulties Score (N = 102) * * **
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  • General Self-Esteem Scale (N = 101) *
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  • Education Scale (N = 101) *
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  • Implications Developmental assets was consistently the strongest predictor Consistent with resilience theory Importance of First Nations cultural opportunities Incorporation of assets into plan-of-care Strategies to offset risk factors
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  • Limitations Small sample size of only First Nations in- care youths No comparison group
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  • Future Research Mtis and Inuit in-care youths Methods to increase developmental assets Ways to offset the consequences of having few assets
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  • References Flynn, R. J., Dudding, P. M., & Barber J. G. (Eds.). (2006a). Promoting resilience in child welfare. Ottawa, ON: University of Ottawa Press. Flynn, R. J., Ghazal, H., & Legault, L. (2006b). Looking After Children: Good parenting, good outcomes, assessment and action records (second Canadian adaptation). Ottawa, ON & London, UK: Centre for Research on Community Services, University of Ottawa & Her Majestys Stationary Office. Goodman, R. (1997). The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire: A research note. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38, 581-586. Gough, P., Trocm, N., Brown, I., Knoke, I., & Blackstock, C. (2005). Pathways to the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in care. CECW Information. Retrieved from Lalonde, C. E. (2006). Identity formation and cultural resilience in Aboriginal communities. In R. J. Flynn, P. M. Dudding, & J. G. Barber (Eds.), Promoting resilience in child welfare (pp. 52-71). Ottawa, ON: University of Ottawa Press. Legault, L., Anawati, M., & Flynn, R. (2006). Factors favoring psychological resilience among fostered young people. Children and Youth Services Review, 28, 1024-1038. Masten, A. S. (2006). Promoting resilience in development: A general framework for systems of care. In R. J. Flynn, P. M. Dudding, & J. G. Barber (Eds.), Promoting resilience in child welfare (pp. 3-17). Ottawa, ON: University of Ottawa Press. Scales, P. C., Benson, P. L., Leffert, N., & Blyth, D. A. (2000). Contribution of developmental assets to the prediction of thriving among adolescents. Applied Developmental Science, 4, 27-46. Scales, P. C. (1999). Reducing risks and building developmental assets: Essential actions for promoting adolescent health. Journal of School Health, 69, 113-119.
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