with Specific Problems
DAWN SHEEN, MELISSA ALLEN HEATH, JOLENE CAMPBELL,
CHRISANDRA MELVILLE, and BART LYMAN
Resilience is defined as the ability to do well in spite of unfavorable life circumstances. Over the years researchers have defined several factors in the family, school, and community that help children thrive in adverse situations (Masten, 2001). Among these factors are safe communities, positive relationships, and success at school. Although school personnel have little control over what happens within a student's family, many things can be done to augment external assets within the school community. Fostering positive relationships between adults and students is essential. A sense of safety within the school allows students to focus more on academic work and school success increases.
Internal assets of resilient children have also been identified: positive mental health, problem-solving abilities, and social–emotional skills (Berk, 2003). Within the school setting, many opportunities arise in which school personnel can help students develop skills and characteristics that contribute to the development of successful and productive lives. Research has shown that as schools foster resilience skills—specifically social–emotional competency—students demonstrate improved academic success (Maleki & Elliot, 2002). For a more comprehensive discussion of resilience, see “Technical Assistance Sampler:
Jolene Campbell, BS, Graduate Student in School Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Chrisandra Melville, BS, Graduate Student in School Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.