Linda Theron

Linda Theron (D.Ed.)
Professor
Dep. of Educational Psychology
Faculty of Education
University of Pretoria, South Africa
Psychologist (Educational; PS 0063622)

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Pathways to Resilience

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Introduction to Khazimula

(See Pathways to Resilience Page for the complete list of videos )

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Included photos / drawings are copyrighted; photos taken by Prof Tinie Theron or Mr Eswill Theron

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The October wind blew in with a lot of goods to our shores. Firstly, we received the transcriptions of all the data collected for activities 1 and 2, which are now being coded and analyzed. Secondly, our partners from University of Brighton and Boing Boing Resilience Research and Practice ( http://www.boingboing.org.uk/) were in town to wrap up their project on resilience and drought (Patterns of resilience among young people in a community affected by drought: Historical and contextual perspectives) and to coordinate a Think Tank initiative involving the youth from the community (Leandra, Mpumalanga) and the RYSE team. Finally, we received members of the RYSE team from Canada, Dr. Michael Ungar (Principal Investigator) and Eric Twum-Antwi (Project Manager) for a productive week that involved visits to Embalenhle, the research site in Secunda and meetings with the advisory panel, youth from the site, and the research team in South Africa.

Dr Michael Ungar and Eric Twum-Antwi getting their first glimpse of SASOL, Secunda

Dr Michael Ungar and Eric Twum-Antwi getting their first glimpse of SASOL, Secunda

On our tour through Embalenhle, the young people from the advisory panel, led us through their community, gave us a glimpse of their world and what it meant to be resilient, or, in their own words: “ ‘Rysing’ in the face of adversity”.

Simphiwe Zulu (RYSE Community Advisory Panel) leads

Simphiwe Zulu (RYSE Community Advisory Panel) leads

Right after the tour, we had the opportunity to sit with the entire advisory panel for RYSE South Africa to introduce to them the Canadian partners, update them on the progress of the project at the Secunda site and the Canadian sites, discuss the next steps forward and finally to share ideas on the best way to reach out to the youth in the community and to share results on the local and national level.

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The SA Community Advisory Panel and RYSE researchers Bottom photo, back row: Simphiwe Zulu, Tiisetso Makhafola, Eric Twum-Antwi. Isaac Thubane, Richard Ngoma, Thandiwe Mtengwane, Mosna Khaile Middle row : Thulani Mcongwane Front row : Linda Theron, Winnie Moya, Michael Ungar, Busi Khumalo

The SA Community Advisory Panel and RYSE researchers
Bottom photo, back row: Simphiwe Zulu, Tiisetso Makhafola, Eric Twum-Antwi.
Isaac Thubane, Richard Ngoma, Thandiwe Mtengwane, Mosna Khaile
Middle row : Thulani Mcongwane
Front row : Linda Theron, Winnie Moya, Michael Ungar, Busi Khumalo

We wrapped up the week- long meetings and activities with a multi-disciplinary research team meeting involving the co-applicants and collaborators of the RYSE Project such as Prof. Michael Ungar (Department of Social Work, Dalhousie University), Prof. Linda Theron (Department of Educational Psychology, UP), Prof. Steve Reid (Primary Health Care Directorate, UCT), Dr. Jennifer van Wyk (Hair and Skin Research Laboratory, UCT), Prof. Ian Rothmann (Optentia, NWU), Prof Christo Fabricius (..), Dr. Angelique van Rensburg (Optentia, NWU) and Sarah Crawford-Brown (Primary Health Care Directorate, UCT)

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Back row : Prof. Ian Rothman, Prof Michael Ungar, Prof Linda Theron, Sarah Crawford-Brown, Prof Steve Reid Front row : Eric Twum-Antwi, Dr Angelique van Rensburg, Mosna Khaile, Dr. Jennifer van Wyk

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Academics and students from the Department of Educational Psychology are collaborating with academics from the University of Brighton in a project (funded by the Natural Environment Research Council or NERC) to better understand the resilience of South African young people challenged by drought. The project, which ends in October 2017, is led by Prof Angie Hart (School of Health Sciences; University of Brighton, UK) with strong support from a UK research team and a South African research team (including researchers from the Universities of Pretoria, Cape Town and Johannesburg).

The UP team comprises Prof Linda Theron and Prof Liesel Ebersöhn (both from the Center for the Study of Resilience and the Department of Educational Psychology) who are co-applicants in the project. Dr Motlalepule Mampane (Department of Educational Psychology) is a collaborator in the project and Mosna Khaile is the project manager. Together with eight educational psychology masters students and seven education honours students, these UP academics spent 4-5 April and 23-24 June learning from young people in Leandra about their experiences of drought and resilience, and what their elders know about drought and resilience. The team has relied on arts-based methods that facilitate co-produced research results. They plan to return to Leandra in October 2017 to show the community what the young people of Leandra can teach South Africa about resilience in times of drought.

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Professor Linda Theron (Department of Educational Psychology & Center for the Study of Resilience) and Professor Michael Ungar (Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience; Director, Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University, Canada) co-hosted the fourth Pathways to Resilience Conference in Cape Town from 14-16 June 2017. Pathways to Resilience IV was the first Pathways conference to be held outside of Halifax, Canada. It was attended by 370 delegates from 54 countries. The theme of Pathways to Resilience IV was on Global South perspectives of resilience. Expanding the resilience discourse first started by the Resilience Research Centre (Dalhousie University, Canada) to the Global South was long overdue, not least because the people of the Global South are so often disproportionately challenged by double and triple jeopardies (e.g., being marginalised and knowing survival-threatening challenges such as climate change and/or armed conflict and/or structural inequality). In the face of the apparently intractable challenges to human wellbeing, knowledge of how and why individuals, families and communities adjust well to adversity is unquestionably important. In particular, understanding how positive adjustment aligns with contextual realities and cultural expectations, and how these vary across and within diverse Global North and South contexts, means that health and wellbeing can be meaningfully supported. Ultimately, optimised individual, family and community functioning is the agenda of resilience research. Undoubtedly in comparing Global South and North accounts of resilience and using subsequent insights to inform meaningful facilitation of resilience, Pathways to Resilience IV advanced this agenda.

South African Community Advisory Panel and Research team

South African Community Advisory Panel and Research team

On the 25th of July 2017, the research team had a meeting with the local advisory panel.  A member of the Community Advisory Panel (CAP) organised a venue for this meeting which was more easily accessible via public transport for adult and youth committee members. Five youth and five adult CAP members attended the meeting. They were enthusiastic about RYSE and committed to working with the academics for the next five years. The adult CAP members included community members from an NGO called Inqubekelaphambili (which translates as “to continue forward”), the National Youth Development Agency and Khulisa Social Solutions.  Inqubekelaphambili is a Non Profit Organisation that works to provide disadvantaged young women in schools with sanitary towels. The National Youth development Agency is a government based company that helps youth by providing information, career guidance, mentorship and supporting the development of entrepreneurial skills. Khulisa Social Solutions, a NGO, is a community partner to the RYSE project. Khulisa worked closely with Linda Theron in the Pathways to Resilience project (2009-2014) and work particularly supportive in the knowledge mobilisation activities.

The youth CAP members represent the Embalenhle Youth Committee. Embalenhle (which translates as “beautiful flower”) is a township situated in the greater Secunda area. The first houses that were constructed in the township of Embalenhle were built by SASOL in 1970 as a dwelling  place for black employees. Now, this township is a home to many locals and migrants and has a population of 118 889.  The CAP would like to see RYSE focus on youth living in Embalenhle.
The CAP members have agreed to assist with the recruitment of youth for the qualitative data collection phase. Data collection will commence in Embalenhle on 26 August 2017.

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Linda Theron was invited to deliver a congress address at the recent 3rd World Congress of Resilience held in Trois Riviere, Quebec, Canada (August 2016). The title of her address was “African pathways of resilience: What do culture and context have to do with beating the odds of structural disadvantage?”

As with her other work, this address drew attention to how traditionally African ways of being, and the expectations associated with this, shape how sub-Saharan African young people accommodate the perennial challenges of structural violence. She introduced cutting-edge insight into how cultural heritage is differentially meaningful, depending on the risks young people experience and contextual variables. Linda emphasized that leveraging relevant cultural heritage to support young people to beat the odds is important, but that it is equally important that social ecologies take action to change the odds that continue to challenge the wellbeing of young people in sub-Saharan Africa.
The other invited addresses were made by Boris Cyrulnik, Serban Ionescu, Laurence Kirmayer, Rachel Thibeault, Michael Ungar, Adrian van Breda, and Lisa Wexler.

Prof Linda Theron and Khazimula have been listed as a finalist in the category entitled ‘To an individual or a team for an outstanding contribution to SET through research leading to innovation in a corporate organization or institution’

The 2013/14 NSTF-BHB Billiton Awards recognise, celebrate, and reward EXCELLENCE in science, engineering, technology and innovation.  A finalist, by definition and opinion of the Adjudication Panel, is a nominee eligible for the Award, which means that the nominee has made a significantly outstanding contribution thereby qualifying to be a winner.”

NSTF BHP finalist 2014_Khazimula

NSTF BHP finalist 2014_Khazimula

Invited Plenary Panel (Front: Lali McCubbin, Dorothy Bottrell, Charles Mphande. Back:, Angie Hart, Steve Reid, Arvin Bhana, Linda Theron)

‘Waithood’ is Alcinda Honwana’s interpretation of what young people experience when inequitable social systems disrupt their attainment of social adulthood. An increasingly popular youth response to such limbo, particularly in Africa, is public protest and subversion. But, under what circumstances does such social agency nurture sustained resilience? Do young people’s responses possibly include alternate actions, strategies, or visions, and how might these enable or constrain resilience processes? Perhaps more importantly, what role do social ecologies play in all of this? This multi-country plenary-panel (Linda Theron [chair], Arvin Bhana, Dorothy Bottrell, Angie Hart, Lali McCubbin, Charles Mphande, and Steve Reid) showcased six case studies of ‘waithood’. They foreground African, Native Hawaiian and UK-based young people whose life-worlds impose ‘waithood’. Some are constrained by immigrant status, race/ethnicity, disability, and/or disadvantage; others are hamstrung by megalomaniac governments, compulsory community service, or premature fatherhood. The panel revealed the complex variability of young people’s responses, ranging from a ‘no waiting’ activism, to stoically ‘doing what they must’ and developing grit, to giving up. Each case flagged that young people are not lone actors in their responses – social ecologies are co-actors, and not always in ways that sustain resilience. Taken as a collective, these cases signal that resilience-supporting responses to ‘waithood’ demand constructive systemic inputs – including collaborations with young people to overhaul life-worlds that threaten resilience.

Figure 1 Symposium presented at 21st South African Psychology Congress, Johannesburg, South Africa, September 2015 From left: Prof Tumi Khumalo, Ms Carla Bezuidenhout, Ms Carlien Kahl, Dr Angelique van Rensburg, Dr Elzette Fritz, Prof Linda Theron

Drawing on the findings of two multi-country resilience studies (Pathways to Resilience Study; SISU study), this symposium interrogated how psychologists can support resilience processes among South African children who are placed at risk by South African society for negative life outcomes. Ungar’s (2011) Social Ecology of Resilience Theory was the symposium’s departure point. Meaningful psychological support demands that psychologists acquire deep knowledge of the varied nature of resilience resources, and how these are systemically shaped by contextual and cultural factors. Accordingly, resilience is conceptualized as a process in which children and their social ecologies collaborate toward functional outcomes amidst adversity.

The symposium comprised three parts. First, Linda Theron (principal South African investigator in Pathways and SISU) provided a synopsis of the projects and comment critically on the pressing need for culturally- and contextually-sensitive understandings of resilience as a systemic process.  She highlighted the need to change the odds that challenge young people, rather than expect young people to beat the odds. Part Two contained four papers. Paper 1 (Theron & van Rensburg) reported Pathways survey findings to flag how mental health risk is differentially associated with resilience-supporting resources when youth consider their communities safe/unsafe, and that quality caregiving (but not caregiver presence) moderates this relationship. Paper 2 (Bezuidenhout) reported SISU findings that illuminate how important school ecologies are to Gr. 1 children’s resilience processes, and what this implies for educational psychologists. Paper 3 (Kahl) drew on the same study, but compared South African and Finnish findings to highlight how context influences the expression of resilience-supporting processes. Paper 4 (Khumalo et al.) reflected on the meaningfulness of a creative repertoire of qualitative methodologies, and multiple social ecological voices, to elicit deep and trustworthy understandings of children’s resilience processes. Part Three was facilitated by Dr Elzette Fritz (a practising educational psychologist and creative arts therapist) who acted as discussant and stimulated a critical dialogue about the usefulness of resilience research findings to psychological practice and the need to do research in context-/participant-appropriate ways.

Professor Linda Theron was invited by Prof Robbie Gilligan to present a guest lecture at Trinity College, Dublin on 23 February 2014. The lecture entitled, Stories of South African Youth: Doing well in challenging contexts, made public some of the quantitative and qualitative findings of the Pathways to Resilience study, South Africa. There were many questions at the close of the lecture, particularly about the findings pertaining to resilience and culture, confirming the importance of culturally sensitive investigations into resilience. During her visit to Trinity College, Linda Theron was also invited to facilitate a workshop for post-graduate students and researchers that focused on dealing with cultural differences when doing research with young people. The contents of this workshop were based on the rich experience she gained in heading the Pathways to Resilience Project in South Africa and in collaborating with affiliated researchers in Canada, China, Colombia and New Zealand in the course of this.

Th Pathways findings were also disseminated at the 2nd World Congress of Resilience in Timisoara, Romania, 8-10 May 2014.  The paper was entitled Pathways to resilience in rural contexts of chronic poverty and danger: A South African study and co-authored by Linda and Tinie Theron. The congress also provided an excellent opportunity to extend and/or cement networks with leading, international resilience-focused researchers.

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Pathways to resilienceNelson Mandela once famously said: “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children”. This mantra has driven Professor Linda Theron in her most recent studies into resilience processes in South African youthWhat is your professional background and what attracted you to the study of South African youth?My professional training is actually in psychology – I am registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as an educational psychologist. As a young intern in the late 1990s, I gained first-hand insight into the coexistence of strengths alongside vulnerabilities in the South African children I worked with. I was keen to understand why some children drew more deeply on these strengths, thus adjusting well to challenging lives compared with those who remained deeply vulnerable.Despite growing literature on resilience processes in children, most of this has reported studies conducted with youth in Eurocentric or North American contexts. Given the understanding that sociocultural contexts shape development processes – which include processes of resilience – it was necessary to engage in rigorous research with South African children to truly comprehend their resilience and use this knowledge to support socioculturally congruent resilience processes in vulnerable children.Can you briefly define resilience? Further to this, what makes the process so complex?Resilience processes support children to do well in life regardless of adversities that can threaten good outcomes. Resilience processes are informed by strengths in the children themselves (eg. tenacity, a sense of humour, good social skills) but also by constructive relationships with family, peers, teachers, etc. and accessible resources in their communities (eg. effective schools, social services, supportive spiritual practices).In other words, adjusting well is supported by youth-context interactions and thus, is not a process for which youth can be held accountable. So, to nurture resilience we have to shape the environment around youth to support their resilience, rather than just supporting their strengths.Perhaps most important is the understanding that youth-context interactions are shaped by the sociocultural contexts of youth. For this reason, processes of resilience will not necessarily be identical across sociocultural contexts. Although the fundamental psychosocial processes might be the same, how the process ‘plays out’ will reflect the child’s sociocultural positioning.Could you give an insight into the Pathways to Resilience Project?The Pathways to Resilience Project (led by Professor Dr Michael Ungar, Resilience Research Centre) is a five-country study currently taking place in Canada, China, Colombia, New Zealand and South Africa. Across these varied cultural contexts the aim is to learn which patterns of formal service and informal support work best to mitigate risk and foster wellbeing. We hope to then use this knowledge to influence policy and practice in our communities. In short, the emphasis is on results that are locally relevant.In South Africa we have paid particular attention to how the sociocultural positioning of young people shapes their resilience processes in order to use this to encourage differentiated services for youth.How can these pathways to resilience be quantified?In the Pathways project we made use of mixed methodologies vetted by the Community Advisory Board (CAB) that partnered with university researchers.We measured the risks faced by our participants, as well as the individual, caregiver and contextual dynamics that support protective youth-context interactions using the Pathways to Resilience Youth Measure (PRYM). We also followed up these quantitative measurements with visual participatory explorations of youths’ resilience to gain deep insight into the socioculturally-shaped pathways of adjustment.On top of this, the way a child adjusts to challenges at one point in his/her life will not necessarily work throughout his/her life. For this reason, longitudinal studies that include culturally relevant measures of resilience are preferable, and so most of our participants have granted permission for us to contact them in the future in order to understand their adjustment longitudinally.Finally, in a widespread project such as this collaboration is key. With whom did you partner with and what value did this bring to the project?My primary collaboration is with the Resilience Research Centre and the researchers partnering in the five-country Pathways to Resilience study. The value of this collaboration is in the multi-cultural lens it brings to the study of positive adjustment and subsequent emphases on the relativity of resilience processes. This collaboration has also promoted the generation of a robust dataset that supports a deep understanding of how young people adjust well to challenging life contexts across the globe.I also collaborate with NGOs and government departments. Their collaboration is pivotal to the uptake of research results by practitioners and policy makers~~~

Resilient children of the world

Researchers across the globe are increasingly aware that a one- size-fits-all approach to understanding and promoting resilience processes in impoverished youths just does not fit. Work underway at North-West University is seeking solutions to this challenge

A 2010 STUDY found that of the total estimated 2.2 billion children in the world, around 1 billion – or every second child – currently lives in poverty. Although this figure is shocking, children affected by poverty can sometimes adapt to their adverse situation in a positive way and strive for a better life in later years.

The capacity to adapt in the face of adversity, commonly known as resilience, is the subject of recent and ongoing studies by Professor Linda  Theron at the North-West University (NWU) in South Africa. Theron believes her findings can be absorbed into policy and practice initiatives to support resilience processes in impoverished children in her home country and beyond.

DEFINING RESILIENCE

When children fare better than expected given the adversities they face, they are considered resilient. To describe a child as resilient, two key elements are needed. Firstly, a context of adversity must be present, which can be anything from biological or psychosocial threat to experiences of trauma. Multiple or chronic threats are considered more detrimental – poverty is a typical example of compound, chronic risk. Secondly, positive adjustment (or adaptation) – as defined by the child’s sociocultural ecology and commensurate with the child’s developmental phase – to this context of risk must be demonstrated.

Although explanations for positive adaptation in children have been present since the 1970s, they have often focused on Eurocentric populations and this has drawn criticism from researchers across the globe. “To truly understand resilience, we need to embrace its complexity. One way of achieving this is to investigate which ways of adjusting are prioritised by a specific sociocultural ecology, rather than prescribing ways based on studies conducted in alien contexts,” Theron explains.

To counteract this global one-size-fits-all approach, a project called ‘Pathways to Resilience’ was set up in 2009 by Professor Michael Ungar
from the Resilience Research Center, Canada. The aim of the project, which spans five countries including South Africa, is to determine the patterns of children’s formal service and informal support and how these facilitate resilience processes across varied sociocultural contexts.

A SOCIAL ECOLOGY OF RESILIENCE

While there are numerous interpretations of how positive adaptation is affected, the popularity of socioecological transactional explanations is growing. Socioecological transactional explanations of resilience explain positive adjustment as a process of constructive, culturally congruent interactions between children and their environment. In line with this, Theron believes positive adaptation to be dependent on meaningful partnerships between children and their sociocultural ecologies. Accordingly, adjusting well is not a process that
youth can be held accountable for. Put simply, to support children’s resilience, societies need to shape their life-worlds to be more resilience-supporting, rather than only focusing on supporting strengths in youth.

Part of the complexity of a socioecological, transactional explanation of resilience, is that resilience-supporting transactions are likely to differ across contexts and cultures. With this in mind, the Pathways to Resilience team explored patterns of formal service and informal support with a view to deciphering which processes work best to mitigate risk and promote wellbeing, spanning multiple cultural contexts. Theron’s focus was on Sesotho-speaking (Basotho) youths living in the Thabo Mofutsanyana District of the Free State province, South Africa. A team led by Theron engaged 1,209 adolescents aged 14-19 in quantitative and qualitative research.

As in other South African provinces, there are widespread challenges facing youth living in the Free State province. It is thought that around 60 per cent of the youth (especially African youth) live below the poverty line and survive on the monthly equivalent of US $50. Many children are exposed to limited infrastructure; poor service and schooling opportunities; and crime-laden and HIV-challenged communities. On top of this,
more than one third (39.1 per cent) of Free State youth live with their mother only and at least 13 per cent of Free State youth report deceased
fathers. Despite such compound adversity, many of these youth are resilient.

INFORMAL AFRICENTRIC PATHWAYS TO RESILIENCE

To better understand the risks and resilience processes of participating youths Theron and her team gathered quantitative data (n = 1,209) using the Pathways to Resilience Youth Measure (PRYM). To understand both their risk and resilience more deeply, 246 youth agreed to generate qualitative data using focus group interviews and visual participatory methods.

The results of the study show that informal supports are more likely to influence Sesotho- speaking youths’ resilience processes than formal service usage. This means, participants’ positive adjustment to their circumstances of disadvantage is supported mainly by naturally occurring resources found in their families and cultural communities, rather than formal service provision. In particular, attachments to female caregivers (mothers and/ or grandmothers) and to spiritual beings (God and/or ancestors), as well as deep cultural pride predominated explanations of resilience. Of interest is how these informal pathways reflect the Africentric and sociohistorical context in which
participating youth were socialised. For example, an Africentric way-of-being encourages profound respect for inter-dependence and attachment to human and spiritual beings (including ancestors). Given the injustices of Apartheid and associated absences of men from their families, women generally took responsibility for their extended families’ wellbeing.

Regarding the formal pathways to resilience, a path analysis shows that simply providing services to youth is not enough to support positive adaptation. Rather, when service providers and youths form constructive relationships and youth experience the service as being meaningful, the resilience processes surrounding youth are augmented and their functional outcomes (eg. not abusing drugs, remaining engaged in school)
improve. Sadly, the greater the risks faced by youth personally and contextually, the poorer their service use experience.

EDUCATION

“One of the pathways to resilience that South African youth report is educational aspiration, or the profound hope that a good education will potentiate access to university and an upward trajectory thereafter,” Theron reveals. “Sadly though, research on education in South Africa has shown that children from disadvantaged communities typically attend under-resourced schools that offer inferior education, and that fewer than 5 per cent of these students succeed at university level.”

With this in mind, Theron and her colleagues examined the Pathways data to understand when and how schooling experiences support resilience processes in children. Independent sample t-tests highlighted the importance of schooling experiences that are supportive of children’s basic human rights (including opportunities to exercise agency and to be respected), with statistically significantly higher resilience scores than for children who experienced the opposite. Moreover, an analysis of the qualitative data showed that school environments that were rights-orientated had teachers who promoted youth agency, encouraged dreams of continued
education and bright futures, and advocated for safe, nurturing life-worlds for their youth.

WAY FORWARD

Theron has strong beliefs regarding the importance of nourishing childhood development. “If we wish to be known as a society with a healthy soul, then we need to purposefully shape society in culturally relevant ways that nurture children’s positive development,” she elucidates. To do so requires reform in policy and practice. Accordingly, with the support of a Community Advisory Board that has been active in the Pathways project from its outset, Theron and her team are lobbying policy-makers and practitioners to prioritise meaningful relationships with youth, and to draw on and bolster informal supports (such as relationships with women carers and spiritual beings, and cultural pride). They have trained multiple teachers, youth workers, youth leaders, and social workers to support resilience processes in South African children using the Khazimula resilience-supporting strategy – an evidence-based product of the Pathways Project – also accredited as a short learning course by NWU.

The Pathways team, SA, is grateful to IDRC for funding this research. IDRC is not responsible for the contents of this article.

It is thought that around 60 per cent of the youth (especially African youth) live below the poverty line and survive on the monthly equivalent of US $50. Despite this adversity, many of these youth are resilient

INTELLIGENCE

PATHWAYS TO RESILIENCE PROJECT,

SOUTH AFRICA

OBJECTIVES

To understand the formal and informal resilience processes of youth in disadvantaged Africentric contexts, using mixed methodologies and a community-based participatory research approach.

KEY COLLABORATORS

  • The Resilience Research Centre (RRC)
  • Bethlehem Child and Family Welfare
  • Free State Department of Education
  • Department of Social Development
  • Khulisa Social Solutions

Dr MJ Malindi; Professor AMC Theron, Professor Herman Strydom; Tamlynn Jefferis; Angelique van Rensburg; David Khambule; Divan Bouwer and the rest of the South African Pathways team

FUNDING

International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada

CONTACT
Professor Linda Theron
Optentia Research Focus Area

Faculty of Humanities
North-West University
Office 105, Building 11B
Vanderbijlpark 1911
South Africa

T +2 7169 1030 76
E linda.theron@nwu.ac.za

www.lindatheron.org
www.optentia.co.za

LINDA THERON, DEd is a full professor and experienced educational psychologist. Her research investigates South African youths’ formal and informal processes of resilience, particularly those challenged by poverty. Her research findings inform resilience- supporting interventions. Theron has authored/co-authored multiple related publications. Her post-graduate students explore similar resilience issues. She is also an associate editor for the South African Journal of Education and School Psychology International.

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