Convergence: Connecting Levels of Analysis in Psychological Science
 In the past, our field harbored distinct, and often competing, schools of thought that tackled different problems and produced findings that often appeared to diverge. Today, investigators attack shared problems at complementary levels of analysis and produce results that converge. Studies of people in a social world; mental systems of cognition and emotion; and biological mechanisms of the genome and the nervous system interconnect and yield an integrated psychological science. The APS 23rd Annual Convention displays, and celebrates, these advances in our field.

Disaster, Response, and Recovery

Understanding and Building Resilience in At-Risk Populations

Friday, May 25, 2012, 9:45 AM - 10:25 AM
Sheraton Ballroom IV

Silvia H. Koller

Silvia H. Koller
Rio Grande do Sul Federal University, Brazil

This presentation includes present studies related to the concept of resilience as they emerged in Brazil. First, current definitions and some methodological approaches developed and used by Brazilian researchers in their investigations will be described. Then studies conducted in different parts of the country will be emphasized, especially those related to the resilience process in children, youth, and families of different at-risk conditions. Finally, the applications of those findings on intervention, prevention, social policies, and clinical practice for maltreatment, disasters and violent crimes will be described. The study of resilience has been important for identifying risk factors and their effects on development and well-being. Poverty, violence, and mental illness, for example, are spread all over the world but affect underdeveloped countries more so, which have fewer health resources to deal with these problems. The number of human beings exposed to adversity increases every day, and it is only by understanding risk factors and their counterpart protective factors that researchers can devise effective interventions. In countries such as Brazil, relevant resilience research can lead directly to change, through the study itself as an intervention tool or the resulting policy change. Risk and protective indicators will be contextualized through various ecologic systems, from the level of the individual to the macro systemic influence, including cross-generational aspects, individual and familial life history, job relations, years of education, and disabilities. They also pointed out the various protective factors, which then helped individuals to develop coping skills to deal more effectively with stressful events.

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Subject Area: Disaster, Response, and Recovery

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