Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health Promotion (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Bart J. Hammig

Committee Member

Dean R. Gorman

Second Committee Member

Kristen N. Jozkowski

Third Committee Member

Chester S. Jones

Fourth Committee Member

Wen-Juo Lo

Keywords

Psychology, Health and environmental sciences, Education, Adolescents, Generalized estimating equations (gee), Health risk behavior, Resilience, Social support, Young adults

Abstract

Resilience is considered the ability that a person gains positive achievements despite exposure to significantly adverse life conditions. However, a majority of previous research has focused on human developmental tasks or academic achievements. Evidence of resilience on health risk behaviors has not been comprehensively established yet. The purposes of this dissertation were to extend the existing literature about the stability of resilience through time, to examine how the resilience scale concurrently and prospectively predict resilience statuses, and to explore effects of Social support over a long period of lifetime. The dissertation used a secondary database from the public-use version of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). Resilience status was defined as a lack of health risk behaviors of suicide, violence and substance use. Resilience scale was constructed by using 35 items from the Add Health data. Data were analyzed data were analyzed using logistic regression and Generalized Estimating Equations (GEE) models. The results showed that resilience status in general and adversity populations varied over time. However, when viewed over a long period of lifetime, individual resiliency on health risk behaviors appears to be rather stable. The resilience scale and its subscales strongly predicted resilience status at a given point in time or over time. Parental support had little or no effect on resilience status, having more number of close friends increased the risk of some health behaviors, and religious services led participants to become more resilient on some health risk behaviors. This research will provide policy makers better knowledge about the role of resilience on health risk behaviors during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. The findings may contribute to the existing literature by extending the knowledge of how resilience on the domain of health risk behaviors changes over time and which factors influence on the resilience process.

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