The Childhood Resilience Study aims to develop and test a questionnaire for measuring resilience in primary school aged children (5-12 years) that has high cultural acceptability, reliability and effectiveness for use with children from diverse backgrounds, including Aboriginal children, children of refugee background and children of mothers who have experienced abuse by an intimate partner.
The study is being conducted in three stages:
Stage 1: Focus groups with families and a systematic review of existing studies
The focus groups explored how parents/carers and children (aged 5-12) think about resilience, and what makes kids grow up strong. A systematic review of existing literature is being conducted to identify resilience factors already identified in studies involving children aged 5-12. We are drawing on the information from the focus groups and the systematic review to develop a questionnaire for measuring resilience in middle childhood.
Stage 2: Psychometric testing of child, parent and teacher versions of the Childhood Resilience Questionnaire
The draft Childhood Resilience Questionnaire has been completed by over 300 families and children attending the Royal Children’s Hospital, and teachers nominated by the families. In addition, around 20 Aboriginal children and over 60 Aboriginal parents/carers have completed the draft questionnaire and provided feedback to assist with refining the measure. The questionnaire has also been completed by around 90 families and children of refugee background. Information from this stage of the study is being used to refine the questionnaire to create a brief, multi-dimensional measure.
Stage 3: Exploration of resilience in diverse and ‘hard to reach’ populations
Further testing of the questionnaire will be undertaken with diverse population groups, including Aboriginal children, children in families of refugee background and children of mothers taking part in a longitudinal study of maternal health and wellbeing after childbirth.
The study will build evidence regarding differences and commonalities in factors promoting resilience in diverse groups of children. It will also generate evidence to inform effective socially inclusive intervention strategies for enhancing resilience in middle childhood.