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
Pathways to resilience in adolescent migrant youth: An international project - Justine Gatt, Linda Theron, Qiaobing Wu, Kristin Hadfield

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Symposium Summary
Pathways to resilience in adolescent migrant youth: An international project

Presenter: Justine Gatt, Linda Theron, Qiaobing Wu, Kristin Hadfield
This symposium features speakers from an international consortium who together aim to understand the impact of migration on mental health and resilience in adolescent youth across six international sites. The talks will encompass findings from a literature review and pilot study, and an explicit discussion of protocol development.  

Symposium Abstracts 
Pathways to resilience: A review of wellbeing-enablers among migrant young people
Linda Theron (University of Pretoria and North-West University, South Africa)
Co-Authors: Kim Foster, Jane March-McDonald 
Introduction: This paper reports the results of a systematic review of qualitative studies that investigated what is currently known about the resilience processes that support wellbeing in young people (aged 12-24) who are first generation migrants. For the purposes of this review, migrancy included asylum seekers, refugees, and/or economic/internal migrants. 
Methods: A search of data bases linked to Ebscohost and Scopus yielded 234 articles. Three researchers independently screened the abstracts of each and excluded all articles that did not report qualitative findings which supported understanding of the resilience processes of young people aged 12-24. After two rounds of consensus discussions 31 articles were retained. Following Masten (2014) and Ungar and colleagues (2011), the same three researchers used universally occurring resilience processes (i.e., attachment, meaning-making, self-regulation, social justice, agency and mastery, cultural adherence, and problem-solving) to deductively code the findings sections of these 31 articles. 
Findings: Results show that constructive connections are integral to the resilience processes that enable resilience to the complex challenges of migrancy. These results, which emphasise the importance of a facilitative social ecology, have implications for policy makers as well as service providers working with youth who are migrant. 

Mental health and resilience in migrant vs non-migrant youth: Initial pilot study results
Presenter: Justine M Gatt ( Neuroscience Research Australia and University of New South Wales, Australia)
Co-Authors: Kim Foster, Alan Emond, Kristin Hadfield, Amanda Mason-Jones, Linda Theron 
Introduction: Promoting optimal mental health and resilience to trauma, adversity and stress is a prominent global priority. One major potential stressor that impacts world populations is migration. Migrants show disproportionally higher prevalence rates for mental and physical health conditions due in part to pre-migratory health and adversity, availability of social support networks and other cultural and language barriers.
Methods: Child and adolescent migrants are particularly vulnerable to mental health problems as they are more susceptible to the impact of their environment. This study will present the initial findings from an international pilot study of 194 migrant and non-migrant youth across the six international sites of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, China, the UK and South Africa. Findings: We will report associations between culture and migration and various measures of mental health, illness risk and resilience across the sample and moderation by demographic characteristics (e.g., age, sex). Cross-cultural comparisons of childhood trauma exposure will be presented and its impact on mental health outcomes, as well as questionnaire scale reliability across the sites. These study outcomes will highlight cultural differences in mental health and variation by migration. Implications for a future longitudinal study of migrant youth resilience will be discussed. 

Acculturation, Resilience and the Mental Health of Migrant Youth: A Cross-Country Comparative Study
Presenter: Qiaobing Wu
Co-Authors: Alan Emond, Kim Foster, Justine M Gatt, Kristin Hadfield, Amanda Mason-Jones 
Introduction: Youth in the context of migration are at higher risk of experiencing mental health difficulties. Many studies have documented the effects of acculturation on a variety of mental health outcomes of migrant youth. Nevertheless, it remains inconclusive as to which acculturative pattern tends to be associated with more positive or
Methods: negative mental health outcomes. Even less known is the underlying mechanism. Resilience, a distinct personality trait that allows a person to maintain positive adaptation despite exposure to risk and adversity, is presumably playing a mediating role in the association between acculturation and mental health. However, this potential mechanism has been rarely examined in the existing literature and requires more empirical investigation. Using data collected with migrant youth in six countries through an international collaborative research project on youth resilience, this study aims to investigate how different acculturative patterns (i.e., assimilation, separation, integration, and marginalization) might influence the mental health of
Findings: migrant youth, particularly through the mediating effect of resilience. Moreover, given the advantage of cross-national data, this study will be able to reveal both the common trend and the unique patterns of the association among acculturation, resilience and the mental health of migrant youth across various national and sociocultural contexts. 

What we learned from conducting a multi-country investigation of migrant youth
Presenter: Kristin Hadfield (Dalhousie University, Canada)
Co-Authors: Michael Ungar, Alan Emond, Kim Foster, Justine M Gatt, Amanda Mason-Jones 
Introduction: Migration is a stressful experience for children and youth and often leads to worse outcomes for the young people involved (Fazel, Reed, Panter-Brick, & Stein, 2012; Fuligni, 1998). Research is needed that can provide a context-specific understanding of the factors which promote immigrant children’s wellbeing, educational engagement and social integration. 
Methods: To this end, a group of researchers from New Zealand, Australia, China, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Canada piloted a questionnaire examining protective factors and processes in 13-15-year-old migrant youth. This presentation will focus on the machinations of running a multi-country pilot to study the wellbeing of vulnerable populations. There are a number of issues related to forming the team, getting funding, determining a common study protocol, sampling, the ethics approval process, and data sharing which can pose challenges to a team science approach. 
Findings: This presentation will outline these challenges – as well as possible rewards of this approach – with the goal of preparing researchers who are attempting this type of work for difficulties they may face.  


Justine Gatt

NeuRA and UNSW
avatar for Kristin Hadfield

Kristin Hadfield

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dalhousie
avatar for Linda Theron

Linda Theron

Professor, North-West University
Linda Theron is a full professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria; an associate of the Centre for the Study of Resilience, University of Pretoria; and an extraordinary professor in Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University... Read More →

Qiaobing Wu

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Thursday June 15, 2017 16:30 - 18:00
Hall C Century City Conference Centre

Attendees (21)