Svea Rika Wigert, University of Montana, Missoula
Having close relationships with adults can increase children’s resilience and decrease risk factors such as mental health problems and feelings of loneliness. A program that targets resilience in youth is the Kaleidoscope Connect Program. This program focuses on the emotional and social needs of students and establishes connections with caring and supportive adults, a key protective factor of this program. The goal of the project is to examine the effectiveness of Kaleidoscope Connect in increasing resilience and decreasing problem behaviors in a sample of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in a school district in Western Montana. Using data from this study that was collected between 2016 and 2019, I will examine the Mastery and Relatedness subscale scores of the Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents (RSCA) and the overall BASC-3 Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BASC-3 BESS) score to see if there is a negative relationship between these two standardized scores. In addition, I will examine descriptive data that focuses on participants’ reported proximity to adults. I expect that over time, students will report closer proximity to adults, as well as a higher number of adults with whom they are connected. Because Montana is a rural state and has higher rates of suicide, implementing programs that help foster resilience is critical. The current project will also highlight the importance of children having adults in their life that are supportive and nurturing.