Resiliency and protective factors in adolescence: A life history perspective.

Smokowski, P.R., Reynolds, A. J., Bezruczko, N.


This paper focuses on the development of adolescent resiliency and protective factors within an environment of pervasive risk. It uses autobiographical life histories written by a sample of seventy-nine inner city, minority high school students in Chicago to begin to piece together processes youth utilize in overcoming adversity. Previous findings in the major resilience domains concerning personal attributes, family ties, school environment and community involvement, are outlined and major themes are subsequently used for comparison with the anecdotal data provided by the students’ essays. Findings highlighted critical roles family members, teachers and community support structures play in fostering adolescent development for inner-city youth.

Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Conference, 1997, Chicago, IL.

Journal of School Psychology, 37(4), 425-448.