Predictors of resilience among adolescents living in rural Mpumalanga in 2018: a cross sectional study

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Literature suggests that resilience can be reached by practicing behaviours, thoughts and attitudes that promote resilience. To understand which behaviours, thoughts and attitudes foster resilience, predictors of resilience should be studied. This study aimed to examine predictors of resilience among adolescents living in the rural Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. Data were collected using a questionnaire from a sample of 245 adolescents between 13.1 and 15.2 years (median age 14.1 (13.1- 15.2); sex 52.7% female and 47.4% male). The questionnaire included questions from depression, stress and resilience scales as well as additional questions relating to communication with parents, and socio-demographic characteristics. The 20 question Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) measured depression, the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale (PPS-10) measured stress while the 25-item Connor Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC-25) measured resilience. The prevalence of resilience was estimated at 46.1%. The findings suggest that perceptions of stress did not significantly predict resilience. Experiencing depressive symptoms and healthy interpersonal relationships significantly predicted high resilience. Although healthy relationships with parents predicted high resilience, adolescents relied more on relationships with friends to build resilience. However, regularly meeting with friends predicted low resilience, while always meeting with friends decreased the chances of low resilience. Thus, the study suggests that healthy relationships with both parents and friends may predict high resilience. However, when relationships with friends replaces that of parents, low resilience results. Finally, this study supports the need for further studies on the validity and acceptability of the PPS-10 and CES-D scales in the South African context.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science in Epidemiology and Biostatistics to the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, School of Public Health, Johannesburg, 2023
Resilience, Predictors, Adolescents, Rural areas