Does well-being predict resilience over time in adolescents?

Report
Paul Jose
Victoria Univ. of Wellington
New Zealand Association of Positive
Psychology conference
Auckland, New Zealand
8 June, 2013
 Resilience
is considered to be a
characteristic/process that enables
individuals to weather difficult times. Should
be predictive of positive outcomes, or at
least ‘less negative outcomes’. Considerable
evidence of this relationship.
 I am turning the equation around and asking
the ‘broaden-and-build’ question: does
wellbeing lead to greater resilience?
 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
 Initial
formulations 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 become 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.

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,
 Successful emotion-regulation, and
 Social resources

Focus of the present study: Does a sense of
greater well-being or positive affect foster or
increase resilient tendencies one year later?
 Based on Fredrickson’s “broaden-and-build”
theory which states that higher positive affect
fosters great competence and striving
(resilience?)
 We measured three constructs that we thought
would be related to each other over time:

Self-reports of the self as resilient;
Positive affect; and
 Well-being (aspirations; pos relations with others; and
confidence)



We sought to test the particular process model
presented on the next page
Wellbeing
Positive
Affect
Resilient
self-desc
 Jan
Pryor and I received financial support
from the FRST Foundation to study
adolescent development over three years
time
 Focus of this research endeavour was to
study the function of social connectedness in
promoting better adjustment in adolescents
 It is a large scale longitudinal study (once a
year for three years) 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 (e.g., “I was happy”)
A


repeated-measures MANOVA showed that:
Positive affect and well-being decreased slightly
over 3 years, but
Resilience did not change much
 These
results are generally supportive of the
idea that resilience is trait-like, and that
adolescent positive affect decreases during
middle adolescence
Positive
Affect T1
Positive
Affect T2
Positive
Affect T3
Well-being
T1
Well-being
T2
Well-being
T3
Resilience
T1
Resilience
T2
Resilience
T3
Positive
Affect T1
Positive
Affect T2
.13***
.16***
Well-being
T2
Well-being
T1
.20***
Resilience
T1
Positive
Affect T3
.15***
Well-being
T3
.24***
Resilience
T2
.07*
Resilience
T3
 It
seems 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
 Next step? A study of mechanisms.
Resilience
slope
Wellbeing
Slope
Social
provisions
slope
“Slope” refers to change in the variable over the three times
of measurement.
 Might
“social provisions” (Cutrona & Russell,
1987) (positive aspects of social support)
mediate between resilience and well-being
 Answer: Yes. We found a significant
bootstrapped indirect effect; about 37% of
the total effect was mediated through social
provisions.
 Answer:
No.
 Thus, it seems that well-being does not
promote resilience through increasing social
provisions.
IV
Mediator
Resilience Reliable Alliance (+)
Indirect/
Direct
ratio
.54**
Guidance (+)
.38**
Reassurance of
Worth (+)
.65**
Lack of selfconfidence (-)
.09*
Avoidance (-)
.30**
DV
Well-being
IV
Mediator
Indirect/
Direct
ratio
DV
Well-being
Lack of selfconfidence (-)
.07*
Resilience
Rumination (-)
.30**
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
 Not
perfectly symmetrical, interesting to
note
 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.
 The
YCP dataset is a subject variable study:
nothing is manipulated.
 Can resilience be fostered? The previous
findings suggest that it can, but how?
 Olivia Notter and I set out to explicitly
increase resilience in a small group of at-risk
13-yr-olds (key findings from her PhD thesis)
 Kiwi-Ace:
a CBT-based programme designed
to reduce depression by reducing illogical
thinking
 PAL (Positive Approaches to Life): our own
programme designed to encourage the use of
various positive psychology techniques:





Gratitude
Identifying strengths (& using them)
Enjoying life (savouring and obtaining flow)
Building relationships
Liking who I am
 27
in Kiwi-Ace, 38 in PAL, and equal numbers
of control individuals
 Obtained from 9 secondary schools in the
lower North Island
 Participants were recruited after a mass
screening (over 1,000 students), we
approached at-risk adolescents who were
mid-range in depressive symptoms on the CDI
 Small
groups of 13-yr-olds received twelve
one-hour sessions during class time over
twelve consecutive weeks.
 Sessions were provided by the in-school
guidance counsellor plus an external clinical
psychologist specifically trained in the two
interventions.
 Assessed on all variables immediately after
the intervention ended (T2), 6 months later
(T3), and 12 months later (T4).
16
15
14
13
Kiwi-Ace
Control
12
11
10
9
T1
T2
T3
T4
15
14
13
PAL
Control
12
11
10
9
T1
T2
T3
T4
 We
expected that PAL would lead to
increases in a variety of positive outcomes:
Psychological well-being
 Satisfaction with life
 Subjective happiness
 Gratitude
 Resilience

 Yes
to all of these variables at all three
subsequent time points
73
72
71
70
PAL
Control
69
68
67
66
65
T1
T2
T3
T4
 We
performed a set of longitudinal mediation
analyses, and found the following mediators
between PAL and subsequent resilience:



Gratitude
Life satisfaction
Subjective happiness
 With
both a subject variable and a quasiexperimental study, we saw that certain
variables seem to foster greater resilience
 Common thread between the two studies:
well-being and happiness seems to “broaden
and build” a young person’s ability to
weather stressful events
 I particularly like gratitude as a mechanism:
young people who feel entitled tend to be
brittle, whereas young people who
appreciate the good things in their lives tend
to be more resilient/realistic.
I
think a large-scale replication of the PAL
intervention is merited after these promising
preliminary findings
 Geelong Grammar School project (with input
from Martin Seligman) seeks to do something
similar
 For
more information:
[email protected]
 Thanks to Olivia Notter, the YCP
research team, all participants,
schools, and school personnel.

similar documents