Please note that there are two different conference venues:
June 14/15 - Century City Conference Centre
June 16 - Kirstenbosch Conference Centre (transportation available)
Thursday, June 15 • 16:30 - 18:00
Multilevel Predictors of Resilience in Diverse Communities of High Risk Youth and Adults - Kathryn H. Howell, Idia B. Thurston, Kristina M. Decker, Robin N. Hardin

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Symposium Summary
Multilevel Predictors of Resilience in Diverse Communities of High Risk Youth and Adults

Presenters: Kathryn H. Howell, Idia B. Thurston, Kristina M. Decker, Robin N. Hardin
This symposium represents experiences of adolescents and adults in the United States and South Africa who have been exposed to poverty, violence, and/or HIV. By highlighting the complex interactions among factors at individual, relational, and contextual ecological levels, we will provide novel directions for facilitating resilient functioning in diverse communities. 

Symposium Abstracts
Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Positive Body Image and High Self-Esteem among South African Adolescents
Idia B. Thurston ( Department of Psychology, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA)
Co-Authors: Janan Dietrich, Kennedy N. Otwombe, Kristina M. Decker, Kathleen J., Glenda E. Gray
Introduction: Despite findings that youth with positive body image and high self-esteem are protected from negative health outcomes, there is limited research on the association of these factors with risk and resilience among South African (SA) adolescents. This study examined individual, caregiver, and contextual factors associated with body image and self-esteem.
Methods: 822 adolescents (Mage=17.02; 57% female; 62% Black, 13% Coloured [SA term for mixed race], 13% White, 12% Indian) were recruited via stratified convenience sampling across four low-income suburbs in Johannesburg, SA. Interviews were conducted to explore risk predictors including: depression, traumatic stress, violence exposure, substance use, and sexual behavior; and protective predictors including: racial identity, parent-child communication, mother-child relationship quality, and father-child relationship quality, as well as self-esteem and body image outcomes. Bivariate analyses between each predictor and each outcome variable were conducted; only significant predictors were included in the two final logistic regression models predicting body image and self-esteem.
Findings: Both logistic regressions were significant. Lower depression (OR=.24, p<.01), less violence (OR=.51, p<.05), having sex (OR=1.75, p<.05), and stronger racial identity (OR=1.73, p<.01) were associated with more positive body image. Lower depression (OR=.17, p<.01), stronger racial identity (OR=1.80, p<.01), and stronger mother-child relationship (OR=2.20, p<.01) were associated with higher self-esteem. 

Profiles of Maternal Strengths: Association with Positive Parenting Practices among Mothers Experiencing Adversity
Presenter: Kristina M. Decker (Department of Psychology, The University of Memphis, USA)
Co-Authors: Idia B. Thurston, Amanda J. Hasselle, Rebecca C. Kamody 
Introduction: Research has supported the negative impact of maternal adversity on parenting. Few studies have deviated from this deficit framework to explore associations between strength-based factors and positive parenting among at-risk mothers. This study adopted a person-centered statistical approach to examine how varying patterns of maternal strengths relate to parenting outcomes.
Methods: Participants were 189 female primary caregivers (71% Black) who experienced adversity including intimate partner violence and/or living with HIV. Mothers recruited from community organizations in the Southern US completed measures of resilience, spirituality, ethnic identity, social support (friend and family), parent-child communication about adversity, community cohesion, and positive parenting. Latent profile analysis was used to generate profiles of individual (resilience), relational (family support, friend support, parent-child communication), and contextual (maternal education, spirituality, ethnic identity) factors. We then examined associations between the profiles and positive parenting and parental involvement. Standard fit statistics were used to determine the best profile solution. 
Findings: Three classes emerged: 1) low spirituality/resilience (LSR; n=20); 2) low family/friend support (LFFS; n=45); and 3) high family support, resilience, spirituality (HFRS; n=124). Mothers in LSR reported significantly lower parental involvement (M=37.87,SE=1.56) and positive parenting (M=25.94,SE=0.82) than those in HFRS (M=43.25,SE=0.49; M=28.11,SE=0.24). Bolstering multilevel strengths may positively impact parenting practices. 

External Predictors of Community Connectedness in Women Living with HIV: The Moderating Role of Resilience and Depression 
Presenter: Robin N. Hardin (Department of Psychology, The University of Memphis, USA)
Co-Authors: Idia B. Thurston, Rebecca C. Kamody,Caroline C. Kaufman 
Introduction: Worldwide, women have among the highest prevalence and incidence of HIV, with one in four people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in the U.S. being women. Community cohesion is a protective factor associated with improvements in health among PLWHA. This study explored predictors of community cohesion among women living with HIV. 
Methods: A total of 57 women living with HIV (Mage=41.2, 81% African American/Black) were recruited via U.S.-based HIV/AIDS service organizations. A linear regression was utilized to predict community cohesion from measures of community supports including: social support (family and friends), potentially traumatic events (PTEs) that were witnessed, PTEs that were learned about, public assistance, and neighborhood crime rate (calculated using respondents’ home zip codes). We then examined the moderating effects of mental health (i.e., resilience and depression) on the relationship between community cohesion and community support predictors that were shown to be significant in the regression analysis. 
Findings: The regression was significant, F(5, 51)=5.53, p<.001, Adj R2=.29, with more social support (β=.49, p<.001) associated with stronger community cohesion. Resilience moderated this relationship, b=.02, 95% CI[0.001, 0.034], t=2.13, p<.05, such that the positive relationship between social support from friends and community cohesion was strengthened by moderate-high levels of resilience. 

Individual, Cultural, and Community Factors that Promote Resilience in Women Exposed to Intimate Partner Violence
Presenter: Kathryn H. Howell (Department of Psychology, The University of Memphis, USA)
Co-Authors: Idia B. Thurston, Laura E. Schwartz, Lacy E. Jamison, Amanda J. Hasselle 
Introduction: Research on adversity is often skewed toward examining problematic functioning; yet, many women display resilience following traumatic experiences. Examining multilevel factors can provide knowledge about protective factors across the social ecology. This study examined predictors of resilience at individual, cultural, and community levels in women exposed to intimate partner violence. 
Methods: The study sample consisted of 168 women (Mage=31.6; 71% African American/Black) exposed to physical, psychological, and/or sexual intimate partner violence in the past 6 months. Approximately 80% of participants were living in poverty. A hierarchical linear regression was conducted across 3 steps to predict resilience via the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (a 25 item measure of participant’s ability to cope with stress and adversity, with higher scores indicating more resilience). Step 1 individual predictors: age, socioeconomic status, and physical health; Step 2 cultural predictors: ethnic identity and spirituality; and Step 3 community predictors: family support, friend support, and community cohesion. 
Findings: The final step of the model was significant, F(8, 156)=10.26, p<.001, Adj R2=31.1%; with physical health (β=.18, p<.01), ethnic identity (β=.17, p<.05), spirituality (β=.20, p<.01), family social support (β=.23, p<.01), and community cohesion (β=.15, p<.05) predicting higher resilience. Findings highlight a strength-based, less-stigmatizing approach to understanding functioning following adversity...


Kristina Decker

University of Memphis

Robin Hardin

University of Memphis
avatar for Kathryn Howell

Kathryn Howell

University of Memphis
Kathryn H. Howell, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Memphis. Dr. Howell is best known for her intervention work with women and children coping with violence and other adversities, including evaluation of the Kids’ Club and Moms... Read More →

Idia Thurston

University of Memphis
Assistant Professor at University of Memphis Idia Thurston, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis and adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UTHSC/Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. Dr. Thurston graduated from the University of South... Read More →

Thursday June 15, 2017 16:30 - 18:00
Room 09 Century City Conference Centre

Attendees (7)