Thursday, 24 July 2014: 3:35 PM
Background/Significance: Resourcefulness is a set of cognitive and behavioral skills for coping with stress in order to maintain quality of life. Resourcefulness begins to develop in early childhood and is reinforced by further learning throughout life. However, research examining intrinsic (individual) and extrinsic (family and caregiver) contextual factors in the development of resourcefulness in children is limited. Purpose: This study examined the effects of the intrinsic and extrinsic contextual factors on resourcefulness in Taiwanese preadolescents. Theoretical framework: Zauszniewski’s middle-range theory of resourcefulness and quality of life provided the context for examining the relationships among theory-driven variables. Subjects: A convenience sample of caregiver-preadolescent dyads from 368 families were recruited within communities in Taiwan. Methods: A cross-sectional approach was used to examine hypothesized predictive effects of intrinsic contextual factors (children’s age, gender, school performance, academic stress, and dispositional optimism/pessimism) and extrinsic contextual factors (family income, caregivers’ age, gender, education, dispositional optimism/pessimism, and resourcefulness) on preadolescent’s resourcefulness. Results: Academic stress and dispositional optimism were found to be significant predictors of preadolescents’ resourcefulness (beta = -.22, p < .001 and beta = .39, p < .001). Preadolescents’ age and gender did not have influence on their resourcefulness. Extrinsic contextual factors (family income, caregivers’ gender, education, dispositional optimism, and resourcefulness) did not predict preadolescents’ resourcefulness. Conclusion: The findings suggest that Taiwanese preadolescents’ resourcefulness was greatly influenced by their academic stress and dispositional optimism. Further research may explore longitudinal effects of academic stress and dispositional optimism on preadolescents’ resourcefulness in larger, more diverse samples.