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.