Healthy communities: What
have we learned from
talking to children?.
Lisbeth T. Pike, Lynne Cohen,
Julie Ann Pooley, &
Resilience or Vulnerability?
Salutogenic or pathogenic?
Resilience and Prevention.
Definitions of Resilience
is an ability to recover from or adjust easily
to misfortune or change.
Resilience is characterized as the ability to
draw on personal or social resources, the
ability to detect contingencies and
predictability in complex situations, and
the ability to react flexibly.
Likened to thriving, invulnerability, stress
resistant, hardiness, and toughening.
Risk Factors (Maladjustment)
Background conditions (poverty)
Community resources (teachers)
Social relations (peers)
Personal Characteristics (cognitive functioning)
Resiliency about the interaction with
individual and environment.
the ability of a community to not only deal with
adversity but in doing so reach a higher level of
Comprises three components
interactions that are experienced as a
the expression of sense of community,
Sense of community
The School Community: A Qualitative
Study of Children’s Conceptualizations
of their School
Development and Apprenticeship
School as a Community/Role of School
Sense of Community and Sense of
What are children's conceptualizations of
the school community?
Semi structured interviews
46 Children (25F and 21M)
Age Range 9-12 y.o. (10.8)
Five Different Schools
Findings and Interpretations
Friends, Teachers, Principal
Places for Activities/Interaction
Environment (Emotional and Physical)
We’ve got great teachers and a nice principal…
and over the years that I have been here, since
like two years of pre-primary and up I’ve just had
really nice teachers (female, aged 11)
Well I know lots of people in my school
community and most of my friends are from
within the school and I know my mum knows lots
of people from the school community as well
(female, aged 12)
Places for Interaction
We’ve got good facilities, we’ve got a good
library for books and learning and all that stuff
We just had the sports carnival, so that’s fun.
We had the interschool sports last term
Well at lunch time and recess like I play with
them, and sometimes after school and
sometimes on weekends and holidays and we
just go to the movies or down the park or play at
each others houses.
I feel good about my school community because
I know that I’m safe around here and I know all
the places I need to go and where everything is,
so I can’t get lost… if I’m at school I know where
Well, sometimes after the weekend, you come
back and there’s glass all over the floor and beer
bottles and there’s rubbish around the school
and graffiti. I feel bad because everybody’s put a
lot of effort into it and just say if you come back
and it’s all wrecked like that
Findings and Interpretation Cont…
School (Teachers, Principal, Student Council)
Process of Change
Cooperation and Influence
All the people joining together, and if you had a group of
kids who didn’t really care, I don’t think it would be all
that good and we wouldn’t get what we wanted .I think
like that kids care – it makes it better.
Well, student councilors, they talk with our deputy
principal, and they discuss issues and you can have
them brought up at the assembly and they come back
and discuss them and they come back and decide about
it, so you can just come and tell the deputy or a councilor
and they will discuss it at their meetings, because they
have one every Thursday lunchtime
There’s lots of sports equipment and
we’ve recently, about two months ago, we
were in the Jump Rope for Heart to raise
money for people. Some money came
back and we had some money to spend
on the class and after this year’s finished it
goes into the sports shed
Children can conceptualize school as a
Role of School in wider community.
Significance of Relationships.
Implications for Curricula
Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll – The
Rocky Road through High School
What are the relationships between risk
and protective factors that impact on
What are the predictors of Sense of
Longitudinal and Cross sectional
98 Primary (Yr 7) Children (m f in 6 Schools)
95 Secondary (Yr 8) Children ( m f in 2 schools)
Children's Depression Inventory (CDI)
Self Perception Profile (SPP)
Adolescent Coping Scale (ACS)
Psychological Sense of School Membership (PSSM)
CDI scores (0-37/54) M=8
PSSM scores (35-88/90) M=71
PSSM Predicted by CDI and ACS (Ref to others).
CDI scores (0-29/54) M=8
PSSM scores (36-85/90) M=64
PSSM Predicted by CDI
Differences in coping, interpersonal problems, physical
appearance, relationship with others, future happiness
There is difference between Primary and
Different types of coping used.
Implications for interventions
Promotion of wellbeing
Young children can conceptualize
SoC and SoB are important.
Gender, culture, SES
Interventions at school/community level.