Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Resilience of urban middle school students: The role of social support
by Knowles, Linda L., Ph.D., Wayne State University, 2009, 164; 3349968
Abstract (Summary)

Resilience is the term used to describe a set of qualities that foster a process of successful adaptation and transformation despite risk and adversity. The term "at risk" characterizes individuals in lower SES, with fewer academic resources and outcomes and exposure to anti social behaviors. According to an ecological model of development, individuals develop within the context of multiple microsystems of social support including the family, school, peer systems, youth/church organizations and work (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, 1992). The purpose of this study was to examine resilience and adjustment in the lives of those who thrive in the face of adversity, examining specifically the benefits of social support of parents, adults, teachers and friends who are in a relationship with the adolescent.

Participants were 6th, 7th and 8th grade boys and girls (n=168) who attend a public middle school. They voluntarily completed surveys which assessed depression, anxiety, self concept, mastery, relatedness, reactivity, daily stress, spirituality, and school functioning. Parents were cited as a significant source of adjustment in the area of depression and self concept. Friends were also significant for self concept. Significant effect was found for non kin adults and teachers in the reduction of anxiety in adolescents. Contrary to what was expected, social support did not ameliorate stress from daily hassles in any of the areas of school or clinical adjustment. Furthermore, spirituality was not found to affect any of the clinical or school areas of resilience.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Yoon, Jina
Commitee: Barnett, Douglas, Hillman, Stephen, Hoffman, Alan
School: Wayne State University
Department: Educational Psychology
School Location: United States -- Michigan
Source: DAI-A 70/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Social studies education
Keywords: Resilience, Social support, Spirituality, Urban adolescents
Publication Number: 3349968
ISBN: 978-1-109-06446-9
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