Filipino Youth Resilience
Written by Dr. Arvella M. Albay, Ph.D. (2015) Development of Filipino Resiliency Scale for Youth, Manila, Philippines.
Resilience is a term used in everyday life and, although we may all have our own picture of what it means, there is a commonality which may be summarized as: “the ability to face the challenges and disappointments we meet in life and to come back with resolution, determination, and feeling stronger than before”. It means working with adversity in such a way that one comes through with greater firmness; it means turning adversity into a learning experience; it involves facing life’s difficulties with courage and patience, and refusing to give up.
For the past few months, Dr. Egloso, a psychiatry resident from the Philippine General Hospital in Manila, Philippines she mentioned some of the issues concerning young adults and adolescents. The Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Psychiatric Department reported that self harm and suicidal ideation among adolescents and young adults have been consistently rising, ranging from non-suicidal self injury to incomplete/completed suicidal attempts among those with adjustment disorder, depression, bipolar, anxiety, personality disorders and other non-DSM 5 diagnosable problems. It has been personally alarming as they are encountered in a daily practice.
The resiliency of the Filipino Youth was found to be very important concern to address by many mental health practitioners. They must develop a program to strengthen the resiliency of young Filipinos
Top 3 Adversities Faced by Filipino Youth
As the national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal said to about the youth, “The youth are the hope of the fatherland”. However, this common thinking was not given prior importance today because most of the young people nowadays were displaying maladaptive behaviors, or problem behaviors that shows an alarm for many practitioners, educators, guidance counselors and other practitioners that are working with adolescents and young adults.
It is not surprisingly known to us that there are some of the young people today committing suicide, attempting to do self-harm and prone to depression. These are primarily because of the many adversities they faced and not to coping up intelligently and emotionally with their problems.
In this article will summarized the top three (3) adversities as experienced by the Filipino youth of today. This top three adversities include:
- Having a broken home
- Last summer term 2018, I was given the task to teach sociology and general psychology in a certain university. When our topic was about family, marriage and family planning, many of them were hesitant to talk about it until I have known to them that many of them in the class were product of broken homes. Sadly to say that many of the youth today could not be able to bear the effect of broken family. They suffering in terms of their daily needs, education and could not even felt the love of the family. Some could not overcome it that results to suicidal and severe depression among young women.
2. Traumatic experiences in the past
- Many young people today were silent of their experiences especially if this is very traumatic to them unless the parent are vigilant on what is happening to them. They are considered emotionally unstable to cope up with those life events. They are afraid to talk and likewise has the tendency to become psychologically unhealthy. Because of this, it affects those young people to experience discomfort, maladaptive functioning in their daily lives.
- Bullying is a kind of a crime. Yes, it is considered as an adversity of among young people today because it affects the youth to develop inferiority complex that may influence them to be withdrawn and isolated with other group of young people. This is now the present concern among professionals and practitioners today. There are some issues today that young individuals committed suicide due to the extent of influence of peer pressures and bullying. They are bullied in many forms, physical, emotional, verbal and even psychologically bullied.
These top three adversities experiences by the Filipino youth today were all observations from the writer to the present situations today. Without proper intervention to address this scenarios or concerns there is a possibility that young people, the hope of the fatherland will commit suicide or in one way to become more problematic to others.
Dimensions of Filipino Youth Resiliency
According to the research conducted by Albay (2015), Filipino resilience have four parameters to consider which includes the following:
- Self-efficacy (“Can – do Cognition”). It is the belief that one can perform difficult tasks and attain desired outcomes, and optimistic beliefs to cope with variety of difficult demands in life.
- Optimism level of the Youth. The positive attitudes and perceptions towards adverse situations. It reflects individual’s sense of hopefulness, sense of meaning, reflections of a favorable view of events, and conditions, and the expectations of a positive outcome.
- Cognitive emotion regulation of the youth. It is the cognitive ways of the individual to regulate emotions in times of adversity and/or difficult situations. The regulation of emotion through cognition that may help individual to manage emotions or feelings, and to keep control over emotions, not getting overwhelmed by them during or after the experience of threatening or stressful situations.
- Future orientation of the Youth. It measures individuals positive attitude towards the future; how young people see their future in terms of goals, hopes, and expectations.
These four dimensions of Filipino youth’s resiliency must be known by many mental health practitioners if order for them to help Filipino youth to overcome adversities and traumatic experiences they have. To strengthen the youth’s personal development and increasing personal resilience, emotional literacy development and understanding others, managing others and situations, and for the development of intervention programs needed for adolescents and young adults mental health concerns.
“We find that people’s beliefs about their efficacy affect the sorts of choices they make in a very significant ways. In particular, it affects their level of motivation and perseverance in the face of obstacles. Most success requires persistent efforts, so low self-efficacy becomes a self-limiting process. In order to succeed, people need a sense of self-efficacy, strung together with resilience to meet the inevitable obstacles and inequities of life”
“Our greatest glory is not in ‘never falling’ but in rising every time we fall”