Please note that there are two different conference venues:
June 14/15 - Century City Conference Centre
June 16 - Kirstenbosch Conference Centre (transportation available)
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Wednesday, June 14 • 16:30 - 18:00
Exploring Pathways to Youth Resilience - Uzo Anucha, Bernadette Iahtail, Izanette van Schalkwyk

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Exploring Pathways to Youth Resilience

Abstract #279
Title: Growing Roses in Concrete? Problematizing Youth Resilience in A Canadian Urban Neighborhood
Presenter: Uzo Anucha (York University, Canada)
Co-Authors: Rahma Siad-Togane, Samantha Postulart
Introduction: We adopt the metaphor of a rose growing in concrete to problematize the notion of youth resilience in urban environments by deconstructing how it contributes and/or reinforces narratives that highlight the importance of individual efforts for success while neglecting the systemic inequities that constrain the opportunities for urban youth.
Methods: Drawing on data collected by and from youth living in an urban neighborhood that is often stigmatized, we explore how narratives of violence and well being trouble and disrupt the notion of success as a result of individual effort. Youth were trained in basic research methods and were supported to conduct interviews with 50 youth. The analysis of the transcripts focused on how participants’ narratives produced, troubled or disrupted the notion of success as a result of individual effort and the negative stereotype of the community.
Findings: The findings points out the limitations of dominant narratives that idealize individual roses while stigmatizing the environment where they grow and neglecting the larger socioeconomic structures that constrain youth opportunities. We advance a counter- narrative that highlights the important role of families and communities play in ensuring youth development and well-being.

Abstract #21
Title: Aboriginal Boys Matter Too! A research study of programs, services and resources for Aboriginal Males Young Offenders.
Presenter: Bernadette Iahtail (Creating Hope Society of Alberta, Canada)
Introduction: Young Aboriginal males are overrepresented, unstable and unsupportive childhood experiences, especially in the Aboriginal child welfare put many youths at risk to engage criminal activity. Other factors include personal, mental and physical health conditions, experiences of discrimination in educational and criminal justice contexts and socialization experiences with delinquent youth.
Methods: Researchers used a primarily qualitative approach to gathering data to understand project participant’s views on the involvement of Aboriginal male youth involved in the criminal justice system in Edmonton and surrounding regions as well as on supports available to them. The qualitative data discussed in this report provides insight into the policies and programs from the perspective of government representatives, community service providers, and Aboriginal males that have had prior involvement in the criminal justice system.  Data from the following sources:
-Key informant interviews
-Focus group discussions
-Comments by participants in the Aboriginal Fathers Love Their Children Too! documentary Research.
Findings: Youth have criminal record by the age 18, contributes youth to adult justice systems and the 3 key factors: a) involvement of Aboriginal male youth in child welfare, b) lack of appropriate supportive programming for Aboriginal male youth involved in the justice system, and c) bias/discrimination against Aboriginal male youth.

Abstract #50
Title: Relational well-being and resilience in a group of adolescents: A multiple method study in a South African high-risk community
Presenter: Izanette van Schalkwyk (North-West University, South Africa)
Co-Author: Odette Geldehuys
Introduction: Relational well-being is viewed as a core component of well-being. Lower levels of well-being could imply grave challenges and further risks in terms of the behaviours associated with living in a high-risk environment. Descriptions of relational well-being include associated constructs such as social ecologies and the dynamics of resilient coping.
Methods: Multiple methods were used to establish the levels of a group of South African adolescents’ well-being (quantitative research), and, to qualitatively explore adolescents’ experiences of relational well-being within the context of a high-risk environment. Adolescent learners from three secondary schools (N=808 quantitative study) took part in this study. Participants were Grade 8 learners between 12 and 15 years old. Questionnaires were firstly completed in a one-shot cross-sectional survey design. Secondly, semi-structured interviews and world café discussions were used with a selected group of participants to qualitatively explore their understanding and experience of relational well-being within a South African high-risk community.
Findings: Quantitative findings indicate that most adolescent learners in this high-risk community, i.e., 56%, do not experience high levels of well-being. Qualitative findings show that adolescents’ relational well-being is seriously restricted. Guidelines are offered as a resilience strategy to facilitate the enhancement of adolescents’ relational well-being in a high-risk community. 


Uzo Anucha

York University

Bernadette Iahtail

Execute Director, Creating Hope Society of Alberta
She is a registered Social Worker and co-founder and Executive Director of Creating Hope Society, a society founded for the survivors of the “The Sixties and Seventies Scoop of Aboriginal Children in Care“. Her key passions are to create awareness of Aboriginal history, specifically... Read More →

Izanette van Schalkwyk

North-West University

Wednesday June 14, 2017 16:30 - 18:00 SAST
Room 08 Century City Conference Centre

Attendees (6)