the importance of not generalizing research findings from the majority group

Part A: Short-Answer Questions (30 marks)

Answer the following six questions that relate to the Module 3 readings, using full sentences and short paragraphs as appropriate. Your responses should be clear and succinct, approximately 75 words in length per question. No single question should exceed 125 words.

Each question is worth five (5) marks.

1. With respect to the Walsh article, consider a family you know of that has been dealing with critical family issues such as addiction, mental illness, or job loss or is grieving the loss of a loved one. Adopt the family resilience model and list some of the strengths of the family. Can you outline how these family strengths may help build family resilience in the face of adversity? Ensure you do not reveal the identity of the family. You may use a pseudonym (e.g., “Smith” or “Doe”) in your response.

2. Describe the example given in the McCabe et al. article that illustrates the importance of not generalizing research findings from the majority group (i.e., Caucasians) to a minority group.

3. May’s article discusses gender differences between mothers and fathers when dealing with their child’s serious health issues. How might developing a social support program for fathers with children who have serious health issues help these fathers and, in turn, their children? What sorts of topics might be included in such a program?

4. Assume that you are an employer and draw from the Grzywacz and Bass’s research to suggest one recommendation you would make to foster optimum work and family environments for your employees. Explain the reason for your recommendation.

5. Based on what you learned from the Johnson et al. article, what would be the benefits of following up these youth and parents, say, four years after the initial training program? Suggest two questions you would include in an interview given to the parents and teens at these follow-up sessions.

6. Considering what you learned from the Lucy LeMare study on Romanian orphans, would you expect the relationship between length of institutionalization and IQ to weaken over time (e.g., when the children are assessed at 16.5 years of age)? How might a providing a warm and caring environment impact a future relationship between length of institutionalization and IQ?

Part B: Essay (70 marks)

Write an essay of 500–750 words (2–3 double-spaced word-processed pages) on one of the following topics. Be sure that you are presenting the concepts in your own words and that you include current information.

Option 1: Other Family Resilience Research

You have been introduced to many family resilience factors in this module; however the effects of particular family factors protecting against other types of adversity (e.g., poor school performance) have not been discussed. Find at least two peer-reviewed journal articles that examine the protective effects of family resilience on an adversity that has not been discussed in this module. Summarize your articles, and provide your informed reaction (i.e., your opinion, based on evidence). Compare and contrast the articles (i.e., what similarities did you find? what differences?).

Option 2: Cross-Cultural Research in Family Resilience

1. Read and then summarize Cohen, Slonim, Finzi, and Leichtentritt’s journal article entitled, “Family Resilience: Israeli Mothers’ Perspectives.” You may use the notes and focus questions below to guide your summary. Once you have summarized the article, provide your informed reaction (i.e., your opinion based on evidence).

2. Find an additional peer-reviewed journal article that examines family resilience using a cross-cultural perspective, and summarize the findings from that study. Once you have summarized the article, provide your informed reaction (i.e., your opinion based on evidence).

3. Compare and contrast Cohen et al.’s research article with your research article. What similarities did you find? What differences?

Notes for “Family Resilience: Israeli Mothers’ Perspectives”

It is important and helpful to be aware of possible cross-cultural differences when it comes to defining “family resilience.” As you have discovered in previous papers in this course, concepts can have different meanings to different people, depending upon the culture studied. Recall, for example, the problems in generalizing research results gathered from the white, middle-class, majority culture to the urban African American minority culture. The same could be said of generalizing findings from North American cultures to other cultures such as those of the Middle East. Thus, it is important to conduct research that examines specific cultures in order to find similarities and differences among particular concepts, such as “family resilience.” This paper examines what “family resilience” means to a sample of Israeli mothers. When we think of Israel, often visions of war, violence, and political unrest come to mind. But it is important that we appreciate that Israeli citizens also deal with the day-to-day stressors that most of us are familiar with, such as family illnesses and divorce. You will see by the results of this study that Israeli mothers’ concepts of family resilience are actually very similar to North American concepts, suggesting that family resilience is a fairly universal concept.

Another important issue to note is that this study is qualitative in nature. Most studies you have read so far are quantitative. A quantitative study is number-based, such as studies whereby individuals fill out questionnaires, and numerical scores for each questionnaire are generated for each participant. These numbers are then entered into a statistical program and statistical analyses are conducted. A qualitative study, on the other hand, uses methods such as interviews, observations, and case studies to gather detailed data about a particular concept.

This study on Israeli mothers used a semi-structured interview format as well as a small sample size. Leading questions, such as asking the mothers about a recent stressful event, how they interpreted it, and how their family dealt with the stressful event, were part of the interview, along with asking the women to give a general definition of “family resilience.” Much data was generated, as the 15 interviews in this study averaged two hours each. The answers the mothers gave were then analyzed using what is called “grounded theory,” a central component of qualitative analyses. This means that common themes in the women’s answers as they related to family resilience were identified, and categories were created.

The authors of this research article explain the processes involved in analyzing interview data, such as the different types of coding that take place. Researchers often use the themes identified in qualitative analyses to create questionnaires, which can consequently be used in quantitative analyses with a larger sample size. Thus, qualitative studies are often preliminary in nature, providing a basis for the development of quantitative studies.

Focus Questions for Reading

Consider using the following questions to guide your reading and written summary of this article.

1. What were the goals of the present study?

2. Why did the authors choose to interview women from Israel, rather than from another country?

3. What were the five main categories identified that captured the concept of resilience for the Israeli women? Give a brief description of each category in your own words

4. For each category identified in question 3, give an example from the article.

5. What was a limitation of this study? Can you think of any other limitations?

Option 3: Foster Children and Family Resilience

1. Read and then summarize Schwartz’s journal article entitled, “Family Resilience and Pragmatic Parent Education.” You may use the notes and focus questions below to guide your summary. Once you have summarized the article, provide your informed reaction (i.e., your opinion based on evidence). You may also want to consider some of the issues raised in Lucy LeMare’s case of the Romanian orphan interviews.

2. Find an additional peer-reviewed journal article that examines family resilience, using an educational perspective, and summarize the findings from that study. Once you have summarized the article, provide your informed reaction (i.e., your opinion based on evidence).

3. Compare and contrast Schwartz’s (and LeMare’s, if you have chosen to include it) research with your research article. What similarities did you find? What differences?

Notes for “Family Resilience and Pragmatic Parent Education”

What if we could teach parents how to build resilience into their families? As we have seen in past research, family resilience may protect both parents and children from adversity. Consider the case of foster children, who have often had their share of adversity. They are usually born into unstable home environments where they often experience abuse and/or neglect. This kind of family background may put these children at risk for developing emotional issues such as depression or behavioural issues such as delinquency. Furthermore, many foster children have been moved from one foster care home to another, adding to the instability of their situation. Thus, it is particularly important for foster parents to build protective factors into their parenting and into their family unit in order to help buffer the past, present, and future adverse effects of being a foster child.

Focus Questions for Reading

Consider using the following questions to guide your reading and written summary of this article.

1. What are some of the problems with generic present-day parent education programs?

2. Why might a very structured family environment work with young children, but cause adolescent children to rebel?

3. Describe a strength of the foster care system.

4. What was the purpose of the Family Resilience Project?

5. Re: case study: Why do you think a delay in responding to the foster child’s behavioural outbursts was less successful than responding right away?

6. Re: case study: Why do you think rigidity in responding to the foster child’s behavioural outburst was less successful than flexibility in responding?

Part A: Short-Answer Questions (30 marks)

Answer the following six questions that relate to the Module 4 readings, using full sentences and short paragraphs as appropriate. Your responses should be clear and succinct, approximately 75 words in length per question. No single question should exceed 125 words. Each question is worth five (5) marks.

1. With respect to “Big Brothers/Big Sisters Mentoring: The Power of Developmental Relationships,” why do you think minority Little Brothers and Sisters showed a more dramatic lowering effect in their likelihood to use drugs, compared to non-minority Little Brothers and Sisters?

2. With respect to the Criss et al. article, it was found that neither temperament nor social information-processing patterns (encoding skills) influenced the likelihood of having positive peer relationships and friendships. The authors also note that unmeasured factors, such as physical attractiveness, IQ, and athletic ability, could possibly account for the buffering effects of positive peer relationships and friendships. How do you think such factors could influence having positive peer relationships and friendships, which would consequently lead to protection against family risk factors? Feel free to draw on research findings from the earlier modules (such as previous research on IQ and social competence) when giving your answer.

3. According to the Rodgers and Rose study, the most salient finding with respect to the resilience model is that peer support can buffer the effects of low parental support on internalizing behaviours for adolescents from divorced single-parent families. One interpretation of this finding is that more peer support leads to less internalizing behaviour. However, another plausible explanation is that adolescents with internalizing behaviours attract less peer support. Why might that be the case?

4. One core problem with the Cosden et al. study is that many members of the control group actually did attend other forms of homework assistance programs. Can you think of a way to deal with this issue?

5. Consider Michael Chandler’s research and explain how the narrative strategy of self and the oral storytelling traditions of Canadian Aboriginals play a role in maintaining cultural continuity and building resilience in Aboriginal youth. (You may also want to include examples from Rod McCormick’s research in your answer.)

6. Achor suggests that social support speeds the process of recovery. The readings, modules and assignments have continually focused on the many factors associated with resilience. Present an argument to either support or refute Achor’s statement. Feel free to draw on previous readings, modules or assignments to support your answer.

Part B: Essay (70 marks)

Write an essay ( maximum 500 words) (2–3 double-spaced word-processed pages) on one of the following topics. Be sure that you are presenting the concepts in your own words and that you include current information.

Option 1: Academic Resilience, Continued

Topic 4 introduced you to how academic resilience may be improved for students at risk for not completing their homework assignments. Improvement of academic resilience may also protect students from academic underachievement and/or dropping out of high school. Find two more peer-reviewed journal articles that examine academic resilience in at-risk groups. Summarize your articles, and provide your informed reaction (i.e., your opinion, based on evidence). Compare and contrast the articles (i.e., what similarities did you find? what differences?).

Option 2: Relating Community and Cultural Resilience Research to Individual or Family Resilience Research

Review Module 2 or Module 3 and select a research paper that examined individual or family resilience factors with respect to a particular risk factor (e.g., maternal psychopathology, work/family obligation overload). Find at least one peer-reviewed journal article that discusses a community resilience factor for that same risk factor. Summarize your research paper and provide your informed reaction (i.e., your opinion based on evidence). Compare and contrast your paper with the paper you used from Module 2 or 3 (i.e., what similarities did you find? what differences?).

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