The prevalence and protective factors for resilience in adolescent Aboriginal Australians living in urban areas: a cross-sectional study

Christian Young, Jonathan C. Craig, Kathleen Clapham, Sandra Banks, Anna Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Objectives: To estimate the prevalence and determine protective factors for resilience in urban Aboriginal adolescents. Methods: Cross-sectional survey data was collected from 119 Aboriginal adolescents participating in the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH). Resilience was defined as having ‘low-risk’ Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scores on the total difficulties (range: 0–40) or the prosocial scale (range: 0–10). Results: Most adolescents scored in the low-risk range of the total difficulties (n=85, 73%) and prosocial scales (101, 86%). Family encouragement to attend school was associated with a 4.3-point reduction in total difficulties scores (95%CI, 0.22–8.3). Having someone to talk to if there was a problem and regular strenuous exercise were associated with higher scores on the prosocial behaviour scale, increasing scores by 1.2 (95%CI, 0.45–2.0) and 1.3 (95%CI, 0.26–2.3) points, respectively. Conclusions: Most adolescents in SEARCH displayed resilience. Resilience was associated with nurturing family environments, social support and regular exercise. Implications for public health: Our data accords with previous research that demonstrates resilience, but also a higher prevalence of emotional and behaviour problems among Aboriginal youth. Supporting Aboriginal young people to build resilience may promote better mental health outcomes leading to important public health benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Aboriginal
  • adolescents
  • mental health
  • resilience

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