Category: International; Clinical Practice (assessment, diagnosis, treatment, knowledge translation/EBP, implementation science, program development); Pediatric Rehabilitation
Objective : The objective of this study was to explore the outcomes of a community based life skills training on the self-efficacy of adolescent Burmese refugees.
Design : This was a mixed methods design study. Trained professionals completed all skills training, baseline and post-training assessments. The authors used Shapiro Wilks test for normality to check for normal distributions of all data; Wilcoxon Signed Rank test or paired samples t test was then selected to compare pre and post training outcomes.
Setting : All training took place in a community high school classroom.
Participants (or Animals, Specimens, Cadavers) : 27 students participated in the life skills training (n=27, mean age=17.33, 70.4% female). Inclusionary criteria included adolescent Burmese refugees in grades ten to twelve who were able to read and understand English, and had not previously been enrolled in life skills training.
Interventions : The life skills training curriculum, adapted from Tackling The Tough Skills™ (Trotta, 2000),addressed five modules: attitude, responsibility, communication, problem solving and college or job preparations. Participants engaged in ten one-hour group training, incorporating Bandura’s Self-Efficacy theory and the logic model process.
Main Outcome Measure(s) : Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE, self-perceived efficacy); Program Evaluation Tool (P.E.T. – A, program feedback); Seattle Social Development and Rochester Youth Development (commitment to school); Attitude Toward Conflict; Denver Youth Survey (attitude toward school); Upward College Program Feedback Form; and qualitative feedback through curricular addendums and reflective notes.
Results : Descriptive and inferential statistics were conducted on the six assessment tools completed prior to and following each of the appropriate training modules. The Upward College Program Feedback Form indicated the life skills training has a significant effect on student’s English skills (t = 7.51, 95% CI = 1.628-2.943, p = .001), knowledge (t = 4.89, 95% CI = 1.396-3.604, p = .001) and self-perceived ability to prepare for college. Qualitative thematic analysis revealed students’ values in education, religious activities, relationships, future aspirations, helping others, and volunteerism within a variety of contexts.
Conclusions : Adolescent refugees are often faced with obstacles and new opportunities during the resettlement process. Due to cultural differences, these opportunities may be perceived as a struggle. The findings suggest the importance of life skills training for adolescent refugees; however, further research is needed to determine its impacts and training effectiveness.
Fengyi Kuo– Chief Therapy Officer, LIH Healthcare, Beijing, Beijing