CA: CorStone Center for Personal Resilience
CorStone Center for Personal Resilience
For more information, visit www.corstone.org
CorStone provides children, families, and communities with the training, tools and techniques that foster personal resilience for challenge, crisis, or hardship. The goal is to develop and support emotional resilience – the ability to function competently, powerfully and peacefully under stress.
Emotional resilience reinforces people’s confidence that they can help themselves and others. It enables individuals, families and communities to face challenges, develop and maintain a positive attitude, make healthful choices, and solve problems on every scale.
CorStone works toward a world that chooses love over fear, compassion over indifference, and forgiveness over blame in the face of crisis.
CorStone develops and supports emotional resilience in children, families and communities to better deal with challenge, conflict or crisis.
CorStone's Girls First!, a five-year initiative to empower adolescent girls and young women in India, a program to provide needed skills and training to improve mental and physical health, educational outcomes, and self-sufficiency.
Formerly a Center for Attitudinal Healing, in 2008 we changed our name to CorStone. Our goal is to build upon our history and past successes while also applying other low cost/high impact, accessible, and scalable evidence-based methods, interventions and support systems to vulnerable individuals and communities in the U.S. and abroad. In our aspiration to become a leading provider of emerging systems, programs, research and best practices aimed at dealing with conflict and crisis, we wanted our name to reflect the full range of expertise we offer.
The name CorStone is derived from “Cor” which is Latin for “heart,” and “Stone,” which connotes a strong base or foundation – as in “a strong foundation for the heart." For us, this concept perfectly captures the notion of emotional resilience. It also reflects our continued commitment to innovation and best practices in mental and community health, social-emotional learning, and communication skills development.
In rural Bihar, girls face high rates of gender-based violence and are often forced to drop out of school and marry by age 14. Now, more than 3,000 at-risk adolescent girls are completing Girls First, a peer support-group program, empowering them to improve their mental and physical health, prevent early marriage and pregnancy, and advocate for their education and health rights.
Girls First combines an Emotional Resilience curriculum on topics such as character strengths, coping skills, assertive communication and problem-solving, and an Adolescent Health curriculum on nutrition, reproductive health, and gender-based violence reduction. The program is facilitated by local community women, trained and certified by CorStone.
Our research team has just completed preliminary data analysis from the first 5 months of the program, and results already show many significant impacts!
Girls First significantly improved emotional and physical well-being relative to the control group:
• Emotional resilience increased 23%. Girls in the Emotional Resilience groups significantly improved their coping skills, self-confidence, courage, persistence, and ability to handle negative emotions relative to the control group. Girls' resilience in the control group increased just 8%.
• Health knowledge increased 71%. Girls in the Adolescent Health groups significantly improved their physical health knowledge of HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, menstruation, anemia, malaria, clean water, substance use, and health consequences of early marriage, relative to controls.Health knowledge among girls in the control group increased only 2%.
Additionally, Girls First significantly protected against erosion of emotional and physical well-being relative to the control group. Girls First clearly safeguarded participants in some of their most vulnerable areas:
• Self-efficacy increased 3% for the Emotional Resilience groups, while the control group decreased 4%. Self-efficacy is the belief in one's ability to control one's own life trajectory and thrive, and is a predictor of academic and career success, and positive health behaviors.
• Physical well-being increased 3% for the Adolescent Health groups, while the control group decreased 23%. Physical well-being includes girls' perceived feelings of physical vitality, functioning, energy, pain, and overall health.
This rigorous impact assessment is one of the first of its kind in any developing country, and includes standardized measures of well-being within a multi-arm randomized controlled trial. Our research team includes leading developmental psychology and global health researchers from University of Pennsylvania and University of California, San Francisco.
Girls First - Bihar has been made possible through the generous support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Additional findings will be available in June 2014. For more information, please contact Kate at KateS@corstone.org.