242502 Resilience in individuals with spinal cord injuries: Social support, and problem-focused coping

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Johnathan Hall , Psychology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
Chwee-Lye Chng, PhD , Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
Denise Catalano, PhD Psychology , Rehabilitation Social Work Addictions, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
Resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversities, is integral to positive adaptation for persons with spinal cord injuries (PSCI; Quale & Schanke, 2010). Research suggests social support facilitates resilience (Armstrong, Birnie-Lefcovitch, & Ungar, 2005), and adaptive coping strategies are often developed within supportive social settings (Taylor & Stanton,2007). Supportive communities create environments in which people can explore new solutions and actively learn through “trial and error” (St. Luke's Health Initiatives, 2003, p. 16). Viewed within this context, problem-focused coping can be cultivated within supportive communities and utilized for adaptation to adversities encountered by PSCI, thereby enhancing long-term resiliency (Wineman, Durand, & Steiner, 1994).

We hypothesized perceived social support and problem-focused coping contribute to resilience among PSCI. We further hypothesized that problem-focused coping mediates the effect of social support on resilience.

A convenience sample of 216 SCI Canadians (65.3% men, 86.6% white) completed a survey using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (Zimet et al., 1988), the Brief Cope (Carver, 1997), and the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (Connor & Davidson, 2003).

Controlling for demographic variables, a hierarchical regression analysis revealed perceived social support (ß =.25,t(215)=3.90,p<.001) and problem focused coping (ß=.40,t(215)=6.40,p<.001) contributed 23% of the variance in resilience (F(10,205)=9.83, p<.001). A mediation analysis using the Barron and Kenny (1986) protocol revealed that problem-focused coping partially mediated the relationship between social support and resilience (Sobel test; z=2.88, p=.004).

Results suggest that public health or community interventions must consider the role of social support and problem-focused coping when addressing resilience processes in PSCI.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Define resilience in relation to spinal cord injury. 2. Describe the relationship between social support, problem-focused coping, and resilience. 3. Discuss the implications for incorporating social support and problem-focused coping into public health or community interventions targeting people with spinal cord injury.

Keywords: Disability, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a research assistant at the University of North Texas Center for Psychosocial Health Research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.