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Achieving Resilience in Later Life: Testing a Two Component Model of Resilience Among Older Widowers. Kate M Bennett. Resilience. A working definition of resilience: - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • *GSA 2008*Achieving Resilience in Later Life: Testing a Two Component Model of Resilience Among Older Widowers

    Kate M Bennett

    GSA 2008

  • *GSA 2008*ResilienceA working definition of resilience: A resilient widower is considered to be particularly well adjusted to life following their loss. He would have the following characteristics: Good adjustment; Positive view of life; No mention of current distress; Participating in life; Returned to life with meaning and satisfaction.

    GSA 2008

  • *GSA 2008*Models of Resilience Deprivation Models Resilience as a response to abnormal stress (Rutter, 1999) Resilience as a steady state Without fluctuating levels of distress following bereavement (and other traumatic events) (Bonanno, 2004) His data focused on 6 and 18 months post loss, and 46% identified as resilient, sample of approx 203, mainly women) Resilience as a long-term outcome Initial painful awareness of loss; integrated belief and value system; optimistic and positive personality (Moore & Stratton, 2003)

    GSA 2008

  • *GSA 2008*Models of Resilience cont.Achievement of Resilience Gradual or turning point (Bennett, 2007; submitted)It is possible that Bonnannos conceptualisation of resilience fits into Moore & Strattons and Bennetts: AlreadyResilient (Bonanno)Achieving Resilience (Bennett)Bereavement EventDistressLowHighBonannoBennettTime

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  • *GSA 2008*Older WidowersParticipants (From 2 independent studies): 45 from NW England (M); 18 from East Midlands, England (Mr.). 9 new interviews NW England (I)Two Qualitative Questions: What did you do? How did you feel? In new study specific discussion about resilience Time heals Gradual or turning point Self evaluation of resilience

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  • Resilience 29 demonstrated resilience That is not to say that the remaining widowers were not resilient, merely that it was identifiable. In addition, in new interviews, 2 identified themselves as resilient, but we thought they were not*GSA 2008*

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  • *GSA 2008*Components of ResilienceTime: Resilience as a process: Facing widowhood with resilience throughout. Resilience as a turning point: An event, person, experience which changed the widowers life.Agency Widowers as active agents Doing something to change their situation Others as agents, widowers as passive Decisions taken for widowers, or being forced by others to change

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  • *GSA 2008*Two Component Model of Resilience

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  • *GSA 2008**GSA 2008*Two Component Model of ResilienceMr H, Man 14

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  • Bonannos Resilience: Always Resilient3 men met these criteria I8, Man 14 and Mr. HI8 Had a car crash in which his wife died and he was seriously injured. His wife and daughter had, 10 years earlier, had another serious car crash He had to contend with losing his wife and learning to walk again. Throughout his interview he seemed so strong and so matter of fact.*GSA 2008*

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  • But its a case of mind over matter I think.[Do you think its a gradual thing or were you able to adapt immediately?]Em, yes I would say that I did adapt immediately, I had to. Um I knew I wasnt going to sit on behind all day and do nothing, it was a case of gradually doing a bit more each day. (I8)Grief comes out and all that, that didn't happen for 6 weeks all of a sudden I just cried. And then it just stopped (his emphasis). (Mr H)

    You've got to get cracking and live your life. (Man 14)*GSA 2008*

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  • *GSA 2008*Resilience: Gradual and ActiveI got to, to, the fact that, that I got to get on with life and that was it, the best I could. (Mr. D)Its remarkable how it does heal .. But part of my character is to adjust to circumstances. I realise it was a blessing for her and indirectly a blessing for me. (I5)Thats how you get through it, having friends . I can go out and talk to anybody Being happy, is that a characteristic? Funny, I have a sense of humour. (I3)

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  • *GSA 2008*Resilience: Gradual and PassiveThat's been the story ever since really, that each day has been made a bit easier by something unseen. (Mr. I) It was just the two lads that kept me going you know. (M3) Children I had to look after them so I hadn't time to sort of mope about really. (M11) Is this passive or active?

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  • Resilience: Turning Point and ActiveAnd eventually you go well this wont do. Its like in a sense youve got a big job to. (M41) I'll get over it in me own way I started to go out. (Mr. G).I mean to say I was very backwards doing anything, Im not now. That happened two year after she died. I joined the Labour Party this Tuesday night, feeling a bit down, so I thought well Ill just go (M27)

    *GSA 2008*

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  • Resilience: Turning Point and PassiveWith being a diabetic I shouldnt do what I did. I had this heartache over it and I just thought, fuck it. I went straight round to the pub Erh, got around and, they said leave Brown Road, and erh, I dont know what strings were And within an hour she sent me down here the same to look at this placethat was the first time Id gone home sober. (Mr. E) Well, the person there who was knowledgeable said. theres a young chappie whos quite brilliant...He was absolutely brilliant. (M1)

    *GSA 2008*

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  • *GSA 2008*Resilience: Turning Point and Passive; Gradual and Active (M26)I did go into a bit of depression about a year later And the old chap says theres only one way of getting rid of it. () Do some hard work. So I said I do eight hours. Oh he said but what do you do in the rest of your sixteen . He said in about a months time youll feel it going out of your hair and your fingernails which it did. I've come to the conclusion rightly or wrongly that um whatever life's - whatever you think life's dealt you unfairly you've only got to look sideways and there's someone a damn sight worse off than you are.

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  • *GSA 2008*Resilience: Active and Gradual and Turning Point (M19)Before I was forty you'd think by the time you were forty you'd be dead But when I was forty I thought oh I'm not dead. The rest of your life is now a bonus. Enjoy it. One night I thought if you don't get out you're going to climb up these walls, so I went down and joined the club.

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  • *GSA 2008*Resilience: Active and Turning Point M10/I3 The challenges of retrospection[Can we just move now to a year or so later.] Well that is the time I realised that Id got to its a terrible phrase and people use it at funerals life goes on. So as I mentioned earlier Im a great music lover - the Philharmonic came back into my life and I realised that that was good therapy for me. (M10) Gradually I started going out . So I joined the Philharmonic (I2)Youve got to take the bull by the horns and youve really got to work at it (I2) [Was there an actual turning point?] No, not a turning point (I3)

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  • Consistency in significant influencesThe Phil His character Gradual versus turning point In the first interview there is a sense of a turning point In the second there is more sense of gradual change, and he himself says there was no turning pointWe would argue these are not necessarily incompatible, and may be what counts is his current experienceIn the first interview we were not asking them to reflect on turning points

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  • DiscussionWeve not found many men who meet Bonannos criteria (3)There are more who become resilient (38% by 2.5 years so similar to Bonannos 43%)Following a time course that is gradual or has a turning pointThey can be passive or activeOutstanding question: Is the resilience inherent? is it more common than we think? Does it need unlocking by some external agent?If so, that has implications for intervention*GSA 2008*

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  • *GSA 2008*Discussion: LimitationsThe new schedule looks specifically at resilience but could be better craftedHow do we deal with the data from those men who see themselves as resilient but we dont think we are In a comparison interview with women, one woman starts of by saying she is, but on reflection on realises she isnt.There are definitional and operational debates to be had and to be resolvedThe data is not longitudinal

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  • *GSA 2008*Selected ReferencesBonanno, G. A. (2004). Loss, trauma, and human resilience: Have we underestimated the human capacity to thrive after extremely aversive events? American Psychologist, 59, 20-28.Ferraro, K.F. Mutran, E. & Barresi, C.M. (1984). Widowhood, health and friendship in later life. Journal of Health & Social Behavior, 25, 245-259.Moore, A. J. & Stratton, D. C. (2003). Resilient Widowers: Older Men Adjusting to a New Life. NY: Prometheus.Rubinstein, R. L. (1986). Singular Paths: Old Men Living Alone. NY: Columbia University Press.

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  • Bereavement versus ResilienceBonanno and Moore & Stratton and myself may be talking about resilience in relationship to different things:Bonanno is talking about bereavement Operationalized as the objective situation or state of having experienced the death of someone significant in ones life; it is considered to be a relatively short-term state, and has primarily personal consequences and meanings.Moore and Stratton and myself are talking about widowhoodrefers to an ongoing, and frequently long-term state, which has both social and personal consequences and meaningsSo the findings are not necessarily contracdictory

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  • *GSA 2008*Thank YouContact me: kmb@liv.ac.uk

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