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What do we mean by resilience? How

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Introduction

What do we mean by resilience? How can work with children and families reduce the risk factors and increase the protective factors associated with children's resilience? This paper will examine the concept of resilience as it has emerged in the research literature of Grotberg (1995). It will evaluate the effectiveness of the concept in the area of developing more effective protective factors for children and families subjected to vulnerability and adversity. It will be noted that resilience needs to be promoted on three fronts, work on individual resilience strategies, promotion of resilience through the organisations and agencies, such as school and the curriculum, family welfare services and promotion of resilience in the community. This paper concentrates on those aspects of reducing the risk factors and increasing the protective factors and the values and pedagogy that are claimed to be powerful providers to resilience. Much has been written about promoting resiliency in children. The swift interest in this issue is probably most visible to those who work in the health and human services field and its regard is reflected in both the commercial non fiction literature as well as in academic texts (Hornby, 1998). To understand why this topic is receiving such constructive support, it is helpful to frame the issue of childhood resiliency in the existing context of health and social service improvement. It is quite apparent that societies are in the middle of an overall shift in values and attitude with regard to what creates and supports health and well being. ...read more.

Middle

Better coordination between local-level services providers and improvements to the service infrastructure in communities represents a sound starting-point for addressing these issues. During the past 25 years, a number of researchers have completed longitudinal developmental studies of large groups of children growing up in community settings (Christchurch longitude study; Fergusson & Lynskey, 1996). Within these groups of children, many characteristics of the children and families were examined, and the life course of the child was charted into adulthood. These large studies contained hundreds of children with outcomes varying from successful to extremely poor. In looking at the characteristics of children with different outcomes, the researchers (Bowlby, J. 1951) have identified consistent risk factors which are often associated with the development of negative outcomes, such as school failure, psychiatric illness, multiple hospitalisation, criminal involvement, vocational instability, and poor social relationships later in life. The risk factors repeatedly identified are Child; fetal drug/alcohol abuse, delinquency, academic failure, substance abuse, repeated aggression, medical disorders. Family Characteristics; Poverty, large family 4 or more children, parents with mental disorders, parent with criminality, parent with substance abuse. Family/experimental; Teenage pregnancies, poor infant attachment to mother, witness to extreme violence, sustained neglect, separation/divorce, single parent, sexual/physical abuse, the list continues far beyond these few named. Risk factors do not invariably lead to problems in the lives of children, but rather increase the probability that such problems will arise. Interestingly the studies show that it is less significant which risk factors are present, but how many are present in life of a child. ...read more.

Conclusion

While much of the role of these mentors/agencies is perceptive, and emerges naturally in the relationship with the child, it would enhance the function of mentors/agencies to focus their interventions in the realm of known protective factors. 2308 Reference: Working with Children and Families: Block 2 Block 4 Topic 2; Promoting Resilience Topic 14; Changing Adult Relationships: the impact on Children Topic 9; Emotional and Mental Health Bernardes, J. (1997) Family Studies: An introduction, London, Routledge Bowlby, J. (1951) Maternal Care and Mental Health. Geneva: World Health Organisation Chamberlain, M. (1995) Family narratives and migration dynamics.New West Indies Guide/nieue West Indische Gids, 69 (3/4): 253-75 Chamberlain, M. (1997) Narratives of Exile and Return, London, Macmillan. Christchurch Longitude Study Fergusson, D.M. and Lynskey, M.T. (1996) Adolescent resiliency tofamily diversity. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 281-292. Grotberg, 1995 Home Office (1998) Supporting families: A consultation document, London, HMSO. Hornby, N. (1998) About A Boy, London, Indigo. Phelps, J.L., Belsky, J. and Crnic, K. (1998) Earned security,daily stress, and parenting: a comparison of five alternative models. Development and Psychopathology, 10: 21-38 Plomin, R., De Fries, J.C., McClearn, G.E. and Rutter, M. (1997) BehaviouralGenetics (3rd edn). New York: W.H. Freeman & Co. Rapoport, R.N. and Rapoport, R. (1982) Families in Britain, London, Routledge and Kegan Paul. Rutter, M. (1985). Resilience in the Face of Adversity: Protective Factors and Resistance to Psychiatric Disorder. British Journal of Psychiatry. 147:598-611. Rutter, M. (1987). Psychosocial Resilience and Protective Mechanisms. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 57(3), 316-331. Rutter, M. (1999) Resilience concepts and findings: implications for family therapy, Journal of family, Vol. 21, pp. 119-44. ?? ?? ?? ?? ALEXANDRIA DYER TMA05 R4816750 1 ...read more.

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