Describing and increasing the resiliency of middle grade students in a small charter school

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amy Elizabeth Jacobs (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
John Habel

Abstract: Resiliency is a term used to describe personal or environmental characteristics that foster a process of successful adjustment and transformation regardless of the risk and hardship (Benard, 1995). Certain youth have been shown to be deficient in resiliency based on the way particular factors impact their lives and their ability to successfully cope with these factors (Long et al, 2006). Factors that can be instrumental in causing youth to be deficient in resiliency are a lack of involvement in extracurricular activities, disengagement from school, and harsh parenting styles (Greene & Conrad, 2001; Demmert, 1994; Strand & Peacock, 2002; Borden, Perkins, Stone, & Villarruel, 2005; Arrington & Wilson, 2000; Lafromboise, 1988). However, all youth can possess life attributes that help them to become more resilient. Such attributes as high self-esteem, adult involvement, feeling connected with school, involvement in community, strong sense of identity, and religious faith are known as protective factors (HeavyRunner & Morris, 1997; Garrett, 1995; Strand & Peacock, 2002; Garmezy, 1991; Blum & Rinehart, 1997; Ralabate & Klotz, 2007; Werner, 1989). When the protective factors outweigh the risk factors youth are able to demonstrate resiliency. Furthermore, when youth are exposed to certain external elements, such crime, substance abuse, and suicide (Greene 2001; Williams 2001), they tend to have more negative outcomes related to overall resiliency. A case study was conducted to assess the risk and protective factors present in the lives of four middle grade charter school students. Observations, interviews, archival records, and a formal resiliency scale were used and triangulated. This information was then analyzed and coded to aid in discovering themes for factors related to resiliency. A plan to increase each student’s protective factors and decrease his or her risk factors was developed and presented to the charter school.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Charter schools -- Southern States
Middle school students -- Southern States
Resliience (Personality trait) in children -- Southern States
Middle school education -- Southern States

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