Paediatrics (RCH) - Research Publications

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    Adolescent chronic illness: A qualitative study of psychosocial adjustment
    Olsson, CA ; Bond, L ; Johnson, MW ; Forer, DL ; Boyce, MF ; Sawyer, SM (ACAD MEDICINE SINGAPORE, 2003-01-01)
    INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to investigate the psychosocial issues facing young people living with a chronic medical condition. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Subjects were young people with a range of medical conditions who were on a waiting list to participate in the Chronic Illness Peer Support programme at the Centre for Adolescent Health, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. Young people agreed to in-depth interviews which were taped and transcribed. Thematic analysis was undertaken by two researchers working independently. RESULTS: Thirty-five young people were interviewed. Thematic analysis revealed five broad themes: control (in control, under control, out of control); emotional reactions (happiness, frustration, anger, sadness, anxiety); acceptance (of illness, of others, of self); coping strategies, and; a search for meaning. The importance of social connections was emphasised. While illustrating the difficulties of managing a chronic medical condition during adolescence, a generally positive message emerges about these young people. CONCLUSIONS: Many young people with chronic illness appear relatively resilient in the face of the adjustment challenges presented by their illness. Interventions that allow a young person to explore meaning, build self-esteem, and acceptance through positive social connections are likely to improve adjustment outcomes in this group.
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    Family risk factors for cannabis use: a population-based survey of Australian secondary school students
    Olsson, CA ; Coffey, C ; Toumbourou, JW ; Bond, L ; Thomas, L ; Patton, G (CARFAX PUBLISHING, 2003-06-01)
    The objective of this study was to investigate relationships between adolescent cannabis use and indices of parent - child attachment, family functioning and parent attitudes to drugs and delinquency. A total of 2848 year 9 and 2363 year 11 students participated in the Victorian Adolescent Health and Well-Being Survey (1999). The study was a school-based random sample of 535 metropolitan and rural, government and non-government secondary schools throughout Victoria, Australia. Cannabis use was defined as 'any' and 'weekly' use in the last 30 days. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify independent associations between cannabis use and parent - child attachment, family functioning and parent attitudes to drugs and delinquency. Cannabis use in year 9 was associated with permissive parent attitudes to drugs and delinquency (any use: adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 8.1; weekly use: adjusted OR = 7.6), and was particularly sensitive to small changes in the quality of the parent - child relationship with risk increasing threefold for those describing their attachment as 'good' compared with 'very good' (any use: adjusted OR = 2.8, weekly use adjusted OR = 2.9). A similar, but more moderate pattern association was evident in year 11. After adjusting for other family and background factors, poor family functioning showed minimal association with level of cannabis use at both year levels. Results suggest that intervention efforts might sensibly target strengthening parent - children relationships and promoting less permissive parent attitudes to drug use.
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    Adolescent resilience: a concept analysis
    Olsson, CA ; Bond, L ; Burns, JM ; Vella-Brodrick, DA ; Sawyer, SM (ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2003-02-01)
    There is need for greater clarity around the concept of resilience as it relates to the period of adolescence. Literature on resilience published between 1990 and 2000 and relevant to adolescents aged between 12- and 18-years of age was reviewed with the aim of examining the various uses of the term, and commenting on how specific ways of conceptualizing of resilience may help develop new research agendas in the field. By bringing together ideas on resilience from a variety of research and clinical perspectives, the purpose of the review is to explicate core elements of resilience in more precise ways, in the hope that greater conceptual clarity will lead to a range of tailored interventions that benefit young people.