Does household income matter? : an examination of an after-school program targeting resilience
Resilience has widely been defined as the ability to thrive despite facing adversity, but debates regarding the operationalization of the term have abounded. Growing up in a low-income household increases an individual’s likelihood of exposure to stressors linked to negative outcomes. Intervention programs aimed at increasing resilience may counteract these detrimental outcomes. Ungar (2016) argued that the protective factors, positive internal and external aspects of an individual’s environment that help them cope with stress, that bolster resilience may change depending on an individual’s level of risk. This study investigated the impact of an after-school program on resilience. The correlation between changes in academic achievement, an outcome-based measure of resilience, and changes in support from protective factors, a process-based measure of resilience, was examined to determine if both operationalizations were measuring the same construct. The moderating effect of household income on the relationship between changes in support from specific protective factors and academic achievement was investigated as an exploratory analysis of Ungar’s (2016) argument. No significant changes in resilience were found. The two measures of resilience were not correlated. The overall moderation models for each protective factor were nonsignificant. However, there was a significant interaction between changes in support from the Family protective factor and academic achievement depending on household income. Also, positive changes in support from the Friend protective factor had a significant overall effect on positive changes in academic achievement. Limitations of the current study and areas for further research were examined considering these findings.
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