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Fostering resilience in African American youth: The Black Parenting Strengths and Strategies (BPSS) Program Stephanie I. Coard, Ph.D. Associate Professor.

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Presentation on theme: "Fostering resilience in African American youth: The Black Parenting Strengths and Strategies (BPSS) Program Stephanie I. Coard, Ph.D. Associate Professor."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fostering resilience in African American youth: The Black Parenting Strengths and Strategies (BPSS) Program Stephanie I. Coard, Ph.D. Associate Professor Human Development and Family Studies, UNCG Paper presented at the 3rd Annual African American Male Conference: Focus on the Black Families Raleigh, NC ~ March 21, 2008

2 Purpose The translation, implementation and testing of clinically efficacious interventions into community settings Specifically, Culturally adapting and testing those interventions to ensure successful dissemination within urban and inner-city communities with economically disadvantaged African American families

3 Specific Goals: 1. Gain knowledge of resilience and cultural competence and cultural relevancy and its importance in prevention programming. 2. Gain knowledge of racial socialization as a key culturally-based theoretical model for understanding African American families and developing programs targeting them. 3. Learn how to bridge culturally-specific content/processes with generic evidenced-based practices to optimize program efficacy and effectiveness.

4 Mission The prevention and treatment of child mental health problems and the promotion of emotional and behavioral health –with particular emphasis on Black/African American children, adolescents and their families. What does that mean?…

5 1. Remaining at the forefront of research in prevention and comprehensive treatments for/with African American youth and facilitating awareness of the importance of examining and understanding the role of race, ethnicity and culture in the conduct of research. Elucidating roles of race/ethnicity in development These factors contribute to the complexities of psychological processes, and are of vital importance to the understanding of culturally diverse populations.

6 2. Integrate existing and new knowledge on culture, ethnicity and race with intervention efforts aimed at preventing and treating child mental health problems and fostering competence and well being. As evidenced-based interventions are applied to children within diverse families, schools and communities, the understanding of culture and how specific culture-related factors influence implementation, acceptance and outcome become paramount.

7 Outline Research Overview Rationale and limitations Resilience Cultural Competency Racial Socialization Overview Definition and Importance Intervention Development Phases Cultural adaptation process Intervention components Pilot Findings Conclusions and Future Directions

8 Conceptualizing Resilience Most theorists and researchers have recognized resilience as a dynamic process (Luthar, Doyle, Suchman, & Mayes, 2000; Rutter, 1985; Spencer et al., 2006) Encompassing positive individual adaptation within the context of significant adversity and resources (Luthar et al., 2000; Luthar et al., 2001). Spencer et al. (2006) have explained that resilience requires a multifaceted, context-linked, and systems- oriented human development perspective for maximum understanding.

9 Conceptualizing Resilience, Cont’d A dynamic, multidimensional construct that incorporates the bidirectional interaction between individuals and their environments within contexts (family, peer, school and community, and society) – RSBCA, 2007 A fluid process not easily captured in a list of protective factors (RSBCA, 2007)

10 Resilience: How it Functions In addition to questions about the definition of resilience, there are also questions about how it functions.

11 Resilience as domain specific Luthar et al. (2000) have construed resilience as domain-specific. Example: If children living in an underresourced neighborhood have been able to avoid using drugs, one might consider these children resilient. However, were these children resilient if they underachieved in school? Are there gradients or specific types of resilience? Might it be possible that these children were “drug resilient” but maybe not “school resilient”? The possibility of domain-specific resilience has implications for both basic and applied research (Ahern, 2006; Fergus & Zimmerman, 2005; Luthar et al., 2000; Spencer et al., 2006; Tusaie & Dyer, 2004; Winfield, 1994).

12 Atheoretical and does not benefit from systematic theory development and testing. The lack of clear theoretical grounding contributes to the confusion in terms of the conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement of resilience and limits our ability to make meaningful comparisons of results across studies. Previous research on resilience has not included cultural or race- related factors in its examination of how children exposed to stressful situational and life events display adaptive behavior. Few studies have considered cultural factors as meaningful components in the process of resilience. There have been, however, some notable exceptions to these general trends (Garmezy, 1996; Sandler, 2001; Spencer et al., 2006) Phenomenological Variant of Ecological Systems Theory (PVEST) (Spencer et al., 2006) is one of the only efforts to explicitly consider race/ethnicity and cultural experiences of African American youth Limitations of Resilience Research

13 Portrait of Resilience The optimal functioning portrait of resilience for African American youth calls for youth to have emotional awareness, perspective-taking, and emotional regulation skills. (RBCA, 2007) The development of programs that focus on critical consciousness as related to emotional regulation is necessary, along with prevention programs that foster and promote engagement, and also programs that take into account the communal nature of African Americans (RSBCA, 2007)

14 What is Cultural Competency? The acceptance and respect for difference, continuing self-assessment regarding culture, attention to the dynamics of difference, ongoing development of cultural knowledge and resources, and flexibility within service models to work towards better meeting the of needs of racial/ethnic populations. (Coard, 1999)

15 Elements of Cultural Competence (Coard, 1999) 1. Requires a commitment Believing that all cultures are equal with and none are inherently superior to others. 2. Acknowledge and value diversity Recognizing that cultural differences are real and play a major part in the care of individuals and families. 3. Develop cultural awareness An awareness of one’s culture and how it shapes beliefs and behaviors. and understand the dynamics of difference.

16 Elements of Cultural Competence cont’d 4. Recognize and understand the dynamics of difference subtle and overt differences interaction patterns influence of past experiences with racism, stereotyping on level of trust, etc. 5. Acquire Cultural knowledge General knowledge about cultural groups is good but individualization is critical 6. Adapt to Diversity Adapt practice behaviors to meet needs of individuals/families.

17 Adapting to Diversity Program marketing Program content Program delivery Program evaluation

18 Marketing Meals Transportation Childcare Local community involvement –use of focus groups –advisory boards –interviews Advertising simplifications - educational level Inclusion of cultural experts Strong community partnerships and presence Labeling considerations -program title -program goals -participants

19 Content Language translations Inclusion of people of color in manuals and videotapes Translation versions Language expression and common language Race related factors (e.g. oppression, racism, prejudice) Ethnic/racial development Culturally defined parental norms

20 Delivery Use of a collaborative approach Diverse or racial/ethnic matching participants w/staff Use of community members as “aids” Cultural specific delivery strategies –(e.g., common language, Proverbs, affirmations, storytelling; emphasis on cultural values) Community member “aids” –cultural value and model incongruence

21 Evaluation instruments translated in different languages Empirical validity for children of color Behavioral observations –racial bias –culture/learning style Behavioral assessments –Extended family/kinship networks –spirituality

22 INTERVENTION DEVELOPMENT AND ADAPTATION

23 K01 Award: Cultural Strategies for Preventing Conduct Problems Pursue research on translation, implementation and testing of clinically efficacious interventions into community settings; and in culturally adapting and testing those interventions to ensure successful dissemination within urban and inner-city communities. A primary focus of this research has been the development and testing of culturally-relevant strategies to assist African American parents in preventing and managing common behavioral problems in children. Funded by National Institute of Mental Health K01 MH

24 Limitations of Parent Training Interventions Increase in contextually focused evidenced-based preventive intervention, BUT…  Focus on “surface” modifications rather than the consideration of “deeper” structural cultural adaptations.  Consideration to critical values and traditions of a particular ethnic group, the unique historical, present, and future conditions of the group have largely been ignored.  Do not consider the unique parental challenges that African American families experience and unique parenting practices that are culturally, ethnically, racially-based, valued and influenced by the societal realities that exist (e.g., racism, prejudice, discrimination).

25 Racial Socialization Defined The process by which messages are transmitted inter- and intra- generationally regarding the significance and meaning of race and ethnicity. Involves teaching children values and norms associated with race/ethnicity, and problem-solving skills that enable children to be flexible in their approach to race- related situations, without losing a core sense of self. Coard, S. & Sellers, R. African American families as a context for racial socialization. (2005) In V. McLoyd, N. Hill and K. Dodge, (eds.) Emerging Issues In African-American Family Life: Context, Adaptation, and Policy. New York: Guildford Press. Stevenson, H., Winn, D.M., Walker-Barnes, C. & Coard, S. Style Matters: Towards a culturally relevant framework for interventions with African American families (2005) In V. McLoyd, N. Hill and K. Dodge, (eds.) Emerging Issues In African-American Family Life: Context, Adaptation, and Policy. New York: Guildford Press.

26 Complexities of Racial Socialization Synergistic and dynamic Bi-directional process Deliberate and unintended Transmission and reception Moderated by family and ecological characteristics

27 Racial Socialization and Child Outcomes: Empirical Findings Racial Competence Academic Achievement Self-Efficacy Self-Esteem Behavioral Competence Delinquency Drug Abuse

28 Why is Racial Socialization Important? It influences a children’s beliefs about the way the world works. It informs children’s beliefs and attitudes regarding ‘the self’. It helps shape children’s repertoire of strategies and skills for coping with and navigating racism. It impacts the nature of the child’s’ inter- and intra-racial relationships and interactions.

29 Who am I Targeting? A quest to define Blackness Race and/or Ethnicity Black and/or African American Biracial Multiracial Race of parent and/or race of child Race of grandparent and/or race of parent and/or child And the answer is… Barbershops/hairdressers Nail salons Resource/drop in centers Schools (drop off/dismissal) Housing projects Playgrounds/Parks Block Parties/Festivals Restaurants/Take-outs Community Centers YMCA Churches/mosques DMV Street vendors Caretakers/nannies

30 Intervention Development Phases 1. Qualitative Study: Further elaborate the key aspects of racial socialization through qualitative methods and review of historical, sociological, and psychological literatures. 2. Program Adaptation: Develop an intervention for African American parents of 5 – 7 year old socio-economically disadvantaged children that encourages parents use of racial socialization practices. 3. Assessment Battery: Develop an assessment battery that is sensitive to changes in racial socialization practices and related constructs. 4. Open Pilot : Pilot the racial socialization intervention as an adjunct to a standard parent training intervention. 5. Randomized Controlled Pilot: Test the enhanced parent training intervention in a randomized controlled trial (waitlist control).

31 Frequency of Message Frequently Used Routine aspect of parenting Moderated by family characteristics Mode/Delivery of Messages Active Responsive Passive Content of Messages Racial Preparation (83%) Racial Pride (93%) Racial Equality (86%) Racial Achievement (67%) Racial Socialization Model of Racial Socialization Processes (Coard, 2003) Coard, S. & Wallace, S., & Stevenson, H. & Miller Brotman, L. (2004). Towards culturally competent preventive interventions: The consideration of racial socialization in parent training with African American families. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 13 (3),

32 Other Culturally-Specific Considerations* Content: Black child development Using proactive racial socialization strategies Talking to your child about race Knowledge of African American history Encouraging culturally affirming attitudes and behaviors Coping with race-related conflicts Race-related advocacy in school settings *informed by qualitative findings and existing literature Delivery Strategies: Use of AA language expression, common language Physical expression Emphasize AA values about collective responsibility, cooperation and interdependence. Use of African proverbs, sayings/affirmations, poems, quotes, symbols, pledges African American perspective use of (“we”) Prayer Role-playing Storytelling/testimonies Extended family participation Humor Setting/Motif- representative of population (e.g., books, magazines, pictures)

33 Culturally Enhanced Version: Black Parenting Strengths and Strategies (BPSS) Program Overview: A culturally- and strengths-based parenting program for the prevention of conduct problems of young children grades K-2. Weekly session (12 weeks) Two hour sessions Meals and childcare/tutoring Ticket system Attendance (on time) Homework completion Binder Program goals:  STRENGTHEN parenting skills  IMPROVE parental involvement  EMPOWER parents to advocate and access  GUIDE parents in preparing African-American children for success So we can….  INCREASE positive behaviors in children  DEVELOP self-image and self- esteem  BUILD their confidence in school  PROMOTE positive racial discussions  ENHANCE problem-solving skills

34 Parenting the Strong-Willed Child (Long & Forehand, 2002) Evidence-based behavioral parent training program, recognized for its general effectiveness. Designed to improve the parent-child relationship and increase desirable child behaviors. Teaches skills that assist parents in dealing with and preventing noncompliance and other problematic behavior. Skills: Attending, Rewards, Ignoring, Effective directions, Time Out

35 BPSS Parent Group Sessions: Welcome and Introduction Parenting in Context: Yourselves as Black Parents Self –Reflection 2 Black Discipline: Stickin’ To, Watchin’ Over and Gettin’ With* Affection, Protection and Correction 3Young Children and Racial-Ethnic Matters Racial/Ethnic Development and Competence Racial Socialization: Talking about Race 4Understanding Child Behavior and Identifying Behavior Problems Attending 5Creating a Positive Homeplace** and Homespace*** Spirituality and Family Traditions Rewards 6Improving Communication Skills Ignoring *Based on Stevenson, Davis & Abdul-Kabir (2001) **Term conceived by L. Burton *** Term conceived by J.V. Ward

36 7Building Positive Self-Esteem and Self-Image Effective Directions 8Developing More Patience and Respect Time-Out 9Black Children and the School Experience Racial Achievement 10Teaching Children to Problem Solve Chit chats and Race–Related Problem Solving 11Integrating Parenting/Behavior Change Skills Addressing Specific Behavior Problems 12Advocating for Your Child Addressing specific race/ethnic matters (at home and in the community) 13 Graduation Ceremony BPSS Parent Group Sessions:

37 Child Domains and Measures Child Behavior Problems Child Social Competence Child Racial Competence Attitudes Coping Racial Preference  Behavioral Assessment System for Children (BASC- P/T)  Social Skills Rating Scale(SSRS-P/T)  Preschool Racial Attitude Measure(PRAM)  Racial Stories Task II  Color of My Skin

38 Parent Domains and Measures Parenting Practices Parent Racial Socialization Parent Racial Identity Parent Functioning  Parent Practice Interview (PPI)  Involve Parent Questionnaire (IPQ)  Parent Experience of Racial Socialization (PERS)  Parent-Child Race-related Observational Measure (PC-ROM)  Afro-centric Home Environment Inventory  Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity (MIBI)  Parent Stress Index (PSI)  Inventory of Race Related Stress (IRRS)

39 Means for Parenting Practices and parent-rated child behavior for control and intervention: Parenting Practices

40 Means for Parenting Practices and parent-rated child behavior for control and intervention: Parents Experience of Racial Socialization

41 Means for Parenting Practices and parent-rated child behavior for control and intervention: Child Conduct Problem

42 Means for Parenting Practices and parent-rated child behavior for control and intervention: Child Social Competence

43 Conclusion  BPSS is a model for incorporating culturally relevant content and processes into established evidence-based interventions.  BPSS is a promising preventive intervention with encouraging preliminary data. The feasibility as been established. A preliminary evaluation of BPSS via a randomized wait list control pilot is complete. Significant results in positive changes in parenting, including reduction in harsh discipline, increase in use of positive racial socialization strategies, and positive changes in social and racial competence in African American children. Coard, S., Foy-Watson, S., Zimmer, C., & Wallace, A. (2007). Considering culturally relevant parenting practices in intervention development and adaptation: A randomized control trial of the Black Parenting Strengths and Strategies (BPSS) Program. The Counseling Psychologist 36(6)

44 THANK YOU!! Contact Information: Stephanie I. Coard, Ph.D University of North Carolina - Greensboro (336)


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