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Title: A method of assessing the resilience of whole communities of children: An example from rural Australia
Contributor(s): Dunstan, Debra  (author)orcid ; Todd, Anna K (author)
Publication Date: 2012
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1186/1753-2000-6-17Open Access Link
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Abstract: Background: Children living in socioeconomic disadvantage are at risk of poor mental health outcomes. In order to focus and evaluate population health programs to facilitate children's resilience, it is important to accurately assess baseline levels of functioning. With this end in mind, the aim of this study was to test the utility of 1) a voluntary random sampling method and 2) quantitative measures of adaptation (with national normative data) for assessing the resilience of children in an identified community. Method: This cross-sectional study utilized a sample of participants (N = 309), including parents (n = 169), teachers (n =  20) and children (n  = 170; age range = 5-16 years), recruited from the schools in Tenterfield; a socioeconomically disadvantaged community in New South Wales, Australia. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ; including parent, teacher and youth versions) was used to measure psychological well-being and pro-social functioning, and NAPLAN results (individual children's and whole school's performance in literacy and numeracy) were used to measure level of academic achievement. Results: The community's disadvantage was evident in the whole school NAPLAN performance but not in the sample's NAPLAN or SDQ results. The teacher SDQ ratings appeared to be more reliable than parent's ratings. The voluntary random sampling method (requiring parental consent) led to sampling bias. Conclusions: The key indicators of resilience - psychological well-being, pro-social functioning and academic achievement - can be measured in whole communities using the teacher version of the SDQ and whole school results on a national test of literacy and numeracy (e.g., Australia's NAPLAN). A voluntary random sample (dependent upon parental consent) appears to have limited value due to the likelihood of sampling bias.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, v.6, p. 1-7
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1753-2000
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 520304 Health psychology
520302 Clinical psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 920209 Mental Health Services
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200305 Mental health services
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Psychology

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