Sources of Support and Psychological Distress among Academically Successful Inner-City Youth

By Kenny, Maureen E.; Gallagher, Laura A. et al. | Adolescence, Spring 2002 | Go to article overview

Sources of Support and Psychological Distress among Academically Successful Inner-City Youth


Kenny, Maureen E., Gallagher, Laura A., Alvarez-Salvat, Rose, Silsby, John, Adolescence


Adolescence is a time of normative developmental stress, but for students living in urban environments and attending inner-city public schools, the developmental challenges of adolescence can be complicated by multiple stressors (Dryfoos, 1990). In comparison with more affluent suburban high schools, inner-city high schools are characterized by higher rates of behavior problems and academic failure (Allen & Mitchell, 1998). Students attending urban schools often experience a number of environmental risks, including lower parental education, single parenthood, minority group status, and negative, stressful life events, that often accompany low levels of economic resources, and contribute cumulatively to psychiatric disorders, behavioral problems, academic failure, and low social and emotional competence (Gallay & Flanagan, 2000; Sameroff & Seifer, 1995). Much attention has been paid to the problems of urban youth, with much less attention focused on academically successful youth (Garmezy & Rutter, 1983; Gibbs, 1998).

The literature on "resilience" has been helpful in directing attention toward youth who succeed despite low levels of economic resources and high levels of life stress, and in identifying factors that can serve "protective" functions by fostering competence (Masten & Coatsworth, 1998). Although resilience has been helpful in focusing attention on the strengths that are prevalent within so-called "at-risk" groups, the construct has been criticized for contributing to an overly simplistic understanding of psychological adaptation (Luthar, 1991; Luthar, Cicchetti, & Becker, 2000) and a disregard for overwhelming hardships experienced by some of the nonresilient youth (Garbarino, 1999). The present research explored sources and patterns of resilience among academically successful inner-city high school students. Study 1 examined the relationship between parental attachment, depressive symptoms, and academic achievement among a multiethnic sample of ninth-, tenth-, and twelfth-grade students. Study 2 was designed to provide a more in-depth examination of sources of support, life stress, and patterns of resilience for the 16 high school seniors from Study 1.

STUDY 1

One of the most widely reported predictors of resilience is the presence of a positive relationship with a caring adult (Masten & Coatsworth, 1998), and the presence of a close relationship with a caring parental figure has been related to positive outcomes among children facing ordinary and extraordinary life stress (Rutter, 1987). The attachment paradigm has been heuristic in understanding the protective role of adult caretakers. According to Bowlby (1973), caregivers who consistently recognize and sensitively respond to their children's needs for comfort, security, and independent exploration contribute to a sense of self as valued and competent. Furthermore, the availability of the attachment figure as a source of comfort and security is theorized to reduce anxiety and contribute to competence in interacting with the world (Sroufe & Fleeson, 1986). Insecure attachment can be seen as a risk factor for maladaptive outcomes, with the negative internal working model of the self that develops in the context of insecure attachment theorized to contribute to the development of depressive cognitions and depressive symptoms (Cummings & Cicchetti, 1990), as well as anxiety and conduct disorders (Allen, Moore, & Kuperminc, 1997).

Although the protective value of caretaker attachments is documented among diverse samples of young children (Van Ijzendoorn & Sagi, 1999), research has not explored the relationship between attachment to parents or extended family members among urban adolescents. Since the importance of specific protective factors is known to vary across developmental levels and contexts (Masten & Coatsworth, 1998), findings pertaining to young children may not pertain to older children. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Sources of Support and Psychological Distress among Academically Successful Inner-City Youth
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.