Recent events have thrust the reality of racism - both subtle and overt - into the national headlines. What does resiliency research tell us about the challenges that face various races and ethnic groups and resiliency? This question seems especially relevant to our work with children and teens, many of whom face the additional burdens of racial discrimination and living in a culture that too often stereotypes people of various races in negative ways.
Resiliency is about successfully dealing with whatever life challenges we are confronted with. Racism is for many a huge challenge. Are the same strategies that help people overcome a variety of other life challenges, traumas, and crises also applicable in dealing with racism? Research has been done on this question...Read on for details! (First, I address the topic of African American resiliency and then resiliency across many cultures...)
AND...the fall, 2013, Resiliency Training Program Training of Trainers will be held Oct. 7 & 8 at a sunny L.A. conference center on a hillside campus just 2 miles from LAX (and very near the beach!). **Don't miss the early bird rate of $100 off**. Details are also below...
The Best Research I Have Found on "African American Resiliency..."
Dr. Danice L. Brown (pictured here) has done some of the best research I have found on African American resiliency. In her research report "African American Resiliency: Examining Racial Socialization and Social Support as Protective Factors" she notes: "African Americans, in comparison to their White counterparts, are more likely to face poverty, live in violent neighborhoods, have less financial resources, and have higher mortality rates from disease" (pp. 32 - 33). But she adds: "Yet while African Americans are at risk for poor developmental outcomes there are many who are able to overcome the negative consequences of their environments and experience a healthy quality of life."
Dr. Brown then describes the power of PROTECTIVE FACTORS in the African American community that help foster resiliency in the face of such significant challenges. In her review of the literature relating to African American resiliency, she highlights the protective factors that appear to be most powerful in the African American Community:
1. Specific messages of "racial socialization" provided to children by their families and their extended community.
2. A wide variety of expressions of "caring and support" provided to children and youth by families, the extended community - including churches - and other caring adults in their lives.
This information can help all of us strengthen these especially powerful protective factors identified by Dr. Brown.
SPECIFICALLY, families and other caring adults and organizations that provide African American children and youth with modeling and messages and exposure to environments that "emphasize racial pride" and explore "learning about one's heritage" are offering the most powerful aspect of the racial socialization protective factor. (Dr. Brown notes that the research literature is "mixed" re: "the receipt of messages emphasizing the existence of racism and racial barriers.")
Dr. Brown also notes that the many types of family, extended family, church, and extended community support that is often inherent in the African American culture offer an enormously powerful protective factor as well. "These internal support systems may often serve as [African American's] first line of defense when dealing with psychological distress" (p. 34).
The specifics of this support range from "tangible aid" to "emotional support, advice, and information."
Religiosity and/or spirituality comes up across studies as an important protective factor for individuals of all races. Dr. Brown highlights the historical role churches have played in "contributing to the psychoeducational development of children and provide them with additional role models" (p. 35).
Dr. Brown concludes that "promoting cultural pride and the teaching of heritage and history" as well as receiving support, "including the support of a special person [who is not part of immediate family] " (p. 43) is significantly associated with resiliency among African Americans.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE RESEARCH REPORT
Her research validates the power of "believing, alternate mirrors" that I have written about elsewhere, including in The Resiliency Workbook. It also confirms the finding across resiliency research that the most powerful protective factor in anyone's life is genuine caring and support. She elucidates in detail, however, the multitude of sources of this powerful support typical in the African American community and she emphasizes a unique protective factor: Developing racial pride and learning about cultural and racial history and heritage.
The International Resilience Project has Studied Resiliency Across 14 Countries...
`My father gets drunk. He said he was going to kill my mother and me. My mother put me with friends and ran away. I don't know where she is.' (6 year old boy)
`I have to go to the hospital a lot because I have so many illnesses. I don't know if I will ever get well.' (10 year old girl)
`I saw my father get stabbed by a neighbor who was mad at him.' (6 year old girl)
`I am very short and people tease me at school all the time.' (11 year old boy)
"Day in and day out, children all over the world face situations like the ones described above. Some face stresses such as divorce or illness while others confront catastrophe - war, poverty, disease, famine, floods. Whether such experiences crush or strengthen an individual child depends, in part, on his or her resilience."
So writes Dr. Edith Grotberg, Ph.D., a researcher and member of The International Resilience Project that was formed in the 1990s to study resilience in children across cultures. Representatives of 30 countries participated in the Project that studied resiliency in children across 14 countries :Lithuania, Russia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, Hungary, Taiwan, Namibia, Sudan, Canada, South Africa, and Japan.
"The international perspective helps us to learn what different cultures are doing to promote resilience: Do they draw on the same pool of resilience factors? Do they vary in which factors are combined to address adversity?" Dr. Grotberg continues.
My resiliency model was featured on National Public Radio a few years ago, and Dr. Grotberg was asked, after I presented my model, to comment on its applicability across cultures. She said in her international work studying resiliency, she found THE PROTECTIVE FACTORS DIAGRAMMED IN THE RESILIENCY WHEEL ARE APPLICABLE ACROSS CULTURES as factors that strengthen resiliency.
In her research, Dr. Grotberg identified the six major adversities outside the family and the six major adversities inside the family that had challenged children during the past five years in the countries named above. These adversities were robberies, war, fires, earthquakes, floods, and car accidents; and death of a close family member, divorce, separation, illness of parents or siblings, poverty, and the family or a friend moving.
She also found that for children six years of age and younger, promotion of resiliency depends largely on the adults in their lives. By the time children are 9 to 11, "they do as much to promote their own resilience as do their parents and other adults."
In order to make findings easily understandable, Dr. Grotberg simplified the research results to a model of "I HAVE, I AM, AND I CAN." Across cultures, children with stronger protective factors indicated in this model had increased resiliency:
I HAVE [environmental protective factors]
* People around me I trust and who love me, no matter what
* People who set limits for me...
* People who show me how to do things right by the way they do things
* People who want me to learn to do things on my own
* People who help me when I am sick, in danger or need to learn.
I AM [internal protective factors]
* A person people can like and love
* Glad to do nice things for others and show my concern
* Respectful of myself and others
* Willing to be responsible for what I do
* Sure things will be all right.
I CAN [lifeskills]
* Talk to others about things that frighten me or bother me
* Find ways to solve problems that I face
* Control myself when I feel like doing something not right or dangerous
* Figure out when it is a good time to talk to someone or to take action
* Find someone to help me when I need it.
Click here for the entire report on The International Resilience Project
As we work to promote resiliency in children and youth across cultures Dr. Grotberg's reports provide useful information about the protective factors that have been found to be most powerful for children in many parts of the world.
CLICK HERE TO READ DR. GROTBERG'S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FOSTERING RESILIENCY CROSS-CULTURALLY
The Resiliency Workbook: The perfect foundation for an effective resiliency-building program across culture and ethnicity
The "Resiliency Wheel" is the core of the book, with pages and activities focused on each aspect of the Wheel. The Resiliency Wheel synthesizes resiliency findings across hundreds of studies, across a variety of ethnic and cultural groups.
AND It is designed to be a hands-on resiliency-building process over many weeks.
The Resiliency Workbook is still number one on Amazon.com, with 49 five-star reviews of this book:
ORDER THE RESILIENCY WORKBOOK BY CLICKING HERE
CLICK HERE TO READ REVIEWS
BUT ORDER THE BOOK FROM US from us to get your FREE "Leader's Guide for The Resiliency Workbook." This guide is a great starter for creating your own resiliency-building program based on the book.
Join Us in Sunny L.A. (NEAR THE BEACH!) Oct. 7 & 8 for the One-of-a-Kind Resiliency Training Program Training of Trainers
JOIN US FOR the upcoming Resiliency Training of Trainers near the beach in sunny Los Angeles (Marina del Rey)!
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT OF $100 OFF IS AVAILABLE WITH REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT BY SEPTEMBER 5.
OR.....You can attend THIS ONE-OF-A-KIND TRAINING
IN SUNNY L.A. near the beach
...by purchasing 100 copies of The Resiliency Workbook for your school or organization.
...REGISTER WITH PAYMENT BY SEPTEMBER 5 AND TAKE $100 OFF THE TUITION!
Many people who take my Resiliency Training of
Trainers become RESILIENCY TRAINERS
themselves, which I encourage everyone to do!
At the training, I give participants EVERYTHING
that I have used as a national and international
resiliency trainer for the
past 20 years. You get it all! And I HOPE you will
go into your community and do resiliency training--to
help children, schools, and families and to make
additional income, as well!
The Oct. 7 & 8 Resiliency
Training Program will held at a conference center in a
beautiful hilltop location in sunny L.A. only two miles
from the airport, and near beautiful beaches.
1. how to move children & youth, families,
& organizations "from risk
2. how to best teach others how to
build resiliency and stay resilient (INCLUDING
3. how to incorporate resiliency strategies that will
improve all organizations
4. how to "sell" resiliency-building programs and
5. The research-based amazing connection
building school resiliency and ACADEMIC AND/OR
COMMENTS FROM THE OCTOBER, 2012 RESILIENCY TRAINING PROGRAM ATTENDEES included:
CLICK HERE TO GET A FLYER WITH MORE INFORMATION OR TO REGISTER FOR THE TRAINING
"Incredible organization, tremendous expertise! An absolute must. Nan is passionate and inspirational!"
Assistant Director of Educational Leadership,
Loyola Marymount University, L.A
"One of the best trainings I have ever attended; Nan's passion and knowledge is clear."
Statewide Director of Education for Great Circle, MO
"Outstanding in every aspect. Every person should [attend] starting in elementary school, and reviewed yearly!"
Wingman Advocate, Hill Air Force Base, UT
"Perfection! A must-have. a tool of hope."
--Linda Liss, Executive Director,
Making Ourselves Matter,
Prince George, British Columbia
Resiliency Training is a crucial need! (And it helps across cultures and ethnicities) BUY A QUANTITY OF THE RESILIENCY WORKBOOK & I WILL PROVIDE THIS TRAINING FREE...
...for your school district or for your organization. Presentation topics are listed at www.resiliency.com (CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRAINING TOPICS), as well many rave reviews by educators, social service providers, and administrators.
One of my favorite comments is from Laurel Schmidt, author of Classroom Confidential: The 12 Secrets of Great Teachers and former Director of Pupil Services for Santa Monica, CA schools:
"Your trainings should be packed...Educators [and all helping professionals] should come by the busloads to learn what to do for everything that ails our kids."
READ REVIEWS THAT EXPLAIN THE BENEFITS OF RESILIENCY TRAINING BY CLICKING HERE
See a list of resiliency presentations by clicking here
My sincere wishes that you are having a resiliency-building summer...and my hope to see you soon at a resiliency training!
Resiliency In Action