Measuring resilience and risk factors for the psychosocial wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boarding school students: pilot baseline study results

Redman-Maclaren, Michelle L., Klieve, Helen, McCalman, Janya, Russo, Sandra, Rutherford, Katrina, Wenitong, Mark, and Bainbridge, Roxanne G. (2017) Measuring resilience and risk factors for the psychosocial wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boarding school students: pilot baseline study results. Frontiers in Education, 2. 5. pp. 1-22.

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Abstract

Introduction: Education provides a key pathway to economic opportunities, health and wellbeing. Yet limited or no locally available secondary schooling in remote Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities requires more than 500 Indigenous students to transition to boarding schools. We report baseline quantitative data from the pilot phase (2016) of a 5-year study to explore a multicomponent mentoring approach to increase resilience and wellbeing for these students.

Materials and Methods: An interrupted time series design is being applied to evaluate levels of change in students’ resilience and wellbeing. Surveys were collaboratively developed, with questions adapted from the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM-28), Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K5), and questions which identified upstream risk factors for self-harm (De Leo, Sveticic et al. 2011). They were completed by 94 students from five randomly selected schools (2 primary and 3 secondary) and one remote community.

Results: Pre-transition, most primary school students reported high levels of resilience, but only a third reported moderate - high levels of psychological wellbeing. Secondary students attending a boarding school reported lower scores on resilience and psychosocial wellbeing measures. Students who transitioned back to community after being from boarding school reported a lower sense of connection to peers and family, and they reported even lower resilience and psychosocial wellbeing scores.

Learning Outcomes: Students have many strengths and can be adaptable, but their levels of resilience and psychosocial wellbeing are affected by the schooling transitions they are required to navigate. The findings are informing the development of intervention strategies to enhance student resilience and wellbeing.

Item ID: 47461
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2504-284X
Keywords: resilience, wellbeing, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, remote, education, boarding school, Indigenous, suicide prevention
Additional Information:

© 2017 Redman-maclaren, Klieve, Mccalman, Russo, Rutherford, Wenitong and Bainbridge. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) . The use, distribution and reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC #1076774
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2017 22:35
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 30%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health @ 20%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Determinants of Health @ 60%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 40%
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