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Ignorance of Ability Brings Disability

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Coping Resilience & Hope Building, Asia Pacific Regional Conference,

Brisbane 9-11 July 2010

About Conference :: Abstracts ::  PAGE 1 - PAGE 2 - PAGE 3 - PAGE 4 - PAGE 5 - PAGE 6 - PAGE 7



Anne RiggsThis visual presentation explores the relationship between creative arts practice and trauma, loss and grief, including the shadowy world of sexual abuse. It is an examination of what art and the artist, through collaborative creative processes, contributes to wellbeing in the aftermath of such experiences. I will speak of my recently completed PhD and the creative research projects I conducted with communities of women who had experienced trauma and loss and who carried the pain of these experiences for years afterwards. My presentation will consider how artmaking and working with an artist contributed to their capacity to live well, better communicate and function within the world reducing isolation and debilitating feelings of loneliness and depression. In discussing the processes of creativity, I will demonstrate how this empowered participants to think, behave and relate in ways that until their participation had been elusive to them, including offering hope, belief and skills for a happier future:A remarkable shift for those who constantly lived on the brink of suicide. The presentation considers how artists delve into the shadows of what hurts, disturbs and stultifies, in order to offer something back that reveals, transforms and restores.
Biodata: Anne Riggs is a visual artist with a studio practice for over twenty years and exhibit regularly. Anne also works as a community artist. The two streams of her artistic life are woven together in her recently completed PhD.

Angela Cowan and Leeanne Toomey, BUILDING CHILDREN'S RESILIENCETraumatic experiences such as domestic violence, grief and loss or parental mental illness can negatively impact on children's cognitive, physical, social, emotional and academic functioning (Paolucci, Genuis, & Violato, 2001). Research recommends that professionals build resiliency skills in children to help them develop protective thinking and behaviours to manage stress and trauma (Berson & Baggerley 2009). This paper overviews best practice in helping children living in adverse circumstances and presents examples of two strengths based interventions that foster resiliency in young children, engaged in a regional early intervention program. Experiences in this practice setting indicate that the interplay of children's strengths and resilience enhancing intervention strategies can empower young children experiencing stress.
Biodata: Dr Angela Cowan is a caseworker with the NSW Department of Human Services, Community Services. She was a lecturer in child development for ten years and a former primary school teacher.
Biodata: Leeanne Toomey (B Soc Sc) is a caseworker with the NSW Department of Human Services, experienced in family support work; grief and self esteem programs for children and a range of parenting educational strategies.

Juan Chen, PhD, MSW is Assistant ProfessorThe scope and speed of the internal migration of over 200 million people as a result of China's rapid urbanization is unprecedented in human history. Since the late 1990s, family migrations have become more common than individual migrations, and migrants are more likely to settle permanently rather than temporarily relocate in cities. This research focuses on the challenges confronting rural migrant families residing in urban China and the strategies they adopt to meet them. From July 2008 to December 2009, our research team followed 12 migrant families who lived on the outskirts of Beijing. This paper describes their migration paths, family arrangements, and the methods they employ to confront challenges. Adopting the family strengths perspective, the study identifies the strategies employed by the migrant population to manage family life, the reliance on family networks for support, and the lack of equal access to state-provided benefits and services. The author maintains that, in addition to providing necessary family services to the migrant population and developing strength-based interventions, fundamental reforms must be enacted to abolish the urban-rural hukou and ensure equal distribution of benefits and access to social services.
Biodata: Juan Chen, PhD, MSW is Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,


Dr Merrilyn Crichton, Professor Lesley ChenowethThis paper explores coping and resilience and the intersection of climate, disability and rurality. The social impact of Australia's drought is vast. In 2009 Raphael et al. found that 86.3% of people in rural and remote NSW had made profound and long term changes to their lives due to the ongoing drought. Many factors impact on people's resilience to natural disasters such as drought including gender. Unfortunately, disability is believed to have a negative impact on resilience to natural disasters such as drought (Fjord and Manderson, 2009; Harley et al., 2008). Eley et al. (2009) found that in all regions of Australia, women are the most likely people to care for people with intellectual and developmental disability (also those who reported a belief that they must be prepared for long term drought Raphael et al., 2009), but in rural and remote Australia men are most likely to experience disability (Eley et al., 2009). This paper will explore the coping and resilience strategies of people who have an intellectual disability and their families who live in rural and remote areas of Australia affected by drought.
Biodata: Merrilyn Crichton is lecturer in sociology at Charles Sturt University's Wagga Wagga campus in regional NSW (Australia). Her research interests include intellectual disability, service provision in rural and remote communities, social inclusion and rural sociology.
Biodata: Lesley Chenoweth is the inaugural Professor of Social Work at Griffith University, Australia. Her research spans disability, human services, and rural communities.


Hadiati S, Zakaria S, Rahajeng UW, Mulyani R.Family support has an important role in the survival rate of children who suffer from paediatric Thalassemic. As part of the treatment regime, the patient needs to receive blood transfusions regularly, usually once every three months. As the child needs to undergo pathology tests prior to each blood transfusion, each treatment usually requires two working days to complete. In Indonesia, the Thalassemic treatment is only available in certain cities, e.g. Surabaya. Families from the rural areas have to travel to the big cities and stay overnight there. They stay either with their relatives or in the hospital waiting room. In this research, the medical team investigate the role of faith in the patient's recovery and survival. The results indicate that patient's faith and recovery are correlated. The patient's mother has an important role in the recovery. The patient' mother usually is the person who manages their daily needs, and follows up the therapy procedures. The patients learn to cope with the pain caused by the disease and the treatment procedures. As the patients grow up, they also learn to support themselves.

THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF LIVING IN AN ISOLATED TRADITIONAL ENVIRONMENT, WITHOUT MODERN APPLIANCES - Hadiati S, Department of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia

The Baduy is a traditional ethnic tribe in West Java. They lead an isolated life away from modern influences. They are not permitted to have electricity nor appliances in their households. Many children do not go to school, despite the free education provided by the Indonesian government. Modern technology was introduced very slowly. The younger generation who learned to read and write are able to run small businesses from home and communicate with the outside world. They started to use mobile phone about five years ago. All of these modern influences were introduced discreetly, away from the public eye. There are two groups in the Baduy tribe: The inner group (Baduy dalam) and the outer group (Baduy luar). The Inner group practices stronger traditional rules compared to the Outer group. How do the tribal people find living in traditional ways in the current nuclear age? What kind of challenges do they face in their day to day life, and how do they cope with them? The research team spent three days with the Baduy tribes. The results indicated that a positive attitude and a close knit social support system are parts of the positive forces in the tribes.
Biodata: Dr. Hadiati S, works at the Department of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia.Zakaria S, Rahajeng UW, works for the Dept of Pharmacology, University of Airlangga, Indonesia and Mulyani R is a Regitered Psychologist, Surabaya, Indonesia,


Yu-Te Huang, Yu-Wen Chen, LIFE STRESS AND DEPRESSIVE MOODAdolescents experience tremendous life stresses and are vulnerable to depressive mood. A resilience perspective stresses the importance of identifying protective factors that could mitigate the impact of risk. Spirituality is increasingly studied in the western countries has been shown to reduce the effect of risk on individual's mental health. Related research was limited in Taiwan, where this study was conducted. This study intends to examine the contribution of parent-adolescence conflict, family economic stress, peer relationship stress, academic expectation stress to depressive mood among adolescents in Taiwan. Data was collected from self-report questionnaires administered to 1,306 Taiwanese students from grades 10 to 12. 1,207 questionnaires with complete information were included in multiple regression analyses. Result indicates that after controlling for gender, age, and self-esteem, life stresses and spirituality were significantly associated with adolescent depressive mood. Spirituality moderated the effect of peer relationship stress on adolescent depressive mood. Findings suggest that spirituality is an important concept to help adolescents from being affected by life stressors. Helping professionals should incorporate this concept into their work with depressive adolescents.
Biodata: Mr. Huang Yu-Te is an MSW from the National Taiwan University. His practice and research interests are adolescent development, spirituality, and mental health. He spent some time in New York assisting adolescents with mental health issues.
Biodata: Professor Ms. Pro. Yu-Wen Chen Department of Social Work, National Taiwan University.

Richard Hill MA, neuroscience of psychotherapyThe explosive outpouring of knowledge about the brain and how mindset directly affects how the brain and body function leads us to ask not only how to make things better, but also what are we making ourselves better from? Why is our resilience so sorely tested and our hope so diminished? What led us to focus on failures rather than strengths? The Winner/Loser World Theory draws from the knowledge base of Interpersonal Neurobiology, Positive Psychology, Complexity Theory and the new field of Psychosocial Genomics to describe the damaging effects of a world where personal worth and value is often based on whether arbitrary external social measures are achieved. This mindset creates a fearful cascade of activity in the brain and body that has an underlying and chronic impact on resilience, hope and confidence in personal strengths. The natural, healthy and strength based processes are readily enabled when in the positively engaged mindset of personal challenge and endeavour. A simple set of self-organising fundamentals will be shown that can shift our mindset rapidly and readily into a space where resilience, hope and personal strengths become the foundations of daily life rather than an aching need.
Biodata: Richard Hill MA is internationally regarded in the neuroscience of psychotherapy. He is a member of the Global Association for Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies, The NeuroLeadership Institute and the International Psychosocial Genomics Research Group. He is published in magazines and journals. His latest book How the 'real world' Is Driving Us Crazy! is for the general
HOPE-ORIENTED PARENTS EDUCATION (H.O.P.E.) FOR FAMILIES IN HONG KONG - Dr. Samuel M. Y. Ho, Ms. Yvonne T. C. Chak, Ms. Ip Yee Fun, & Ms. Claudia P. Y. Wong

Dr. Samuel M. Y. Ho, Ms. Yvonne T. C. Chak, Ms. Ip Yee Fun, & Ms. Claudia P. Y. WongChildren's resilience in facing adversities is perhaps one of the vital strengths that need to be fostered before they enter the stage of adolescence, a period with increasing exposure to the outside world. We have developed a four-session Hope Oriented Parents Education (H.O.P.E.) program for families in Hong Kong. 94 parents and one of their children aged between 8 to10 years old were randomly assigned to either an intervention or waitlist control group. Parents in the intervention group received the H.O.P.E. training program for four weeks. They were then asked to do hope story telling intervention with their children for another four weeks. Both parents and their children received pre- and post-training assessments on hope, happiness, and harmony. Our results showed that parents had an increase in hope level before and after the H.O.P.E. program and this increase in hope level was maintained after 4 weeks. Children in the intervention group, but not children in the waitlist control group, tended to show an increase in both happiness and harmony levels after hope story telling by their parents. In the presentation, we shall describe our training program. This project is funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.
Biodata: Samuel M.Y. Ho, PhD is an Associate Professor of the Department of Psychology, the University of Hong Kong. He directs the Positive Psychology Laboratory of the department and is doing research on resilience, hope, and positive intervention. Dr. Ho is a consultant of positive psychology in various organizations in Hong Kong.

Sue Liersch, mental health nursing, University of WollongongReceiving a diagnosis of schizophrenia can be regarded as a significantly adverse life event and is an indication that the person is regarded to be vulnerable, rather than resilient, if viewed using the stress-diathesis model, because they have responded to stress by becoming unwell rather than thriving. Is it possible then, for a person who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia to respond resiliently or to develop resilience in the journey with schizophrenia?
Fifteen people, who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and who have been identified by health professionals, or self-identified as coping resiliently with their illness, were interviewed to explore what they believe resilience is and how they believe resilience has played a role in dealing successfully with schizophrenia. Results from the study support the idea that people with schizophrenia can learn to respond resiliently to the on-going challenge of that illness. Factors involved in achieving a resilient response in the face of schizophrenia have been identified as well as a framework for understanding the interplay of those factors. The identified factors will inform development of an instrument for measuring resilience for people diagnosed with schizophrenia and also link to interventions for facilitating the growth of resilience in that context.
Biodata: Sue Liersch, Lectures in mental health nursing at the University of Wollongong, NSW, and is exploring resilience in the context of schizophrenia for her doctorate. Sue, a Churchill Fellow of 2008 also provides Police Force mental health and suicide assessment in the context of safe custody.

Beeto Leung, Bai Yu, Psychology, University of Hong KongAccording to research, hope is one of the most important character strengths in predicting happiness and depression. Moreover, accumulating evidence showed that individuals with high levels of hope tend to remain energetic and resilient even in the midst of adversity and crisis. When facing difficulties, these individuals are more capable to stay persistent in pursuing their goals, which is exactly a trait that is most desirable to our times.
In this workshop, we will share with you the construct of hope; the fundamental differences between individuals with high and low levels of hope; the practical steps and tools that you can apply on a daily basis to build up your colleagues', children's and your own hope. Specifically, we will introduce some creative reading and writing exercises on using stories as means to foster hope. Throughout these practical exercises, you will gain knowledge of your own level of hope and the relevant theory; learn the skills to apply the concepts in your daily life and build up your hope.
Biodata: Beeto Leung and Bai Yu are currently PhD candidates of the Department of Psychology, University of Hong Kong. Their research interests are posttraumatic growth, hope, character strengths and happiness. Beeto is now finishing his thesis on hope and bullying experiences in adolescents in Hong Kong and Bai Yu is finishing hers on character strengths and psychological well-being in college students in China.,



About Conference :: Abstracts ::  PAGE 1 - PAGE 2 - PAGE 3 - PAGE 4 - PAGE 5 - PAGE 6 - PAGE 7


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