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Resiliency and Youth Development

Resources supporting individual and community resilience.

Benard, Bonnie, Fostering Resilience in Children External link opens in new window or tab. , ERIC Digest (August 1995)
This digest summarizes a growing body of international, cross-cultural, longitudinal studies that provide scientific evidence that many youth, even those with multiple and severe risks in their lives, can develop into "confident, competent, and caring adults" (Werner & Smith, 1992); and discusses the critical role schools can play in this process.

Benard, Bonnie, Resiliency: What We Have Learned External link opens in new window or tab. , WestEd 2004
A few years ago, resiliency theory was relatively new to the fields of prevention and education. Today, it is at the heart of hundreds of school and community programs that recognize in all young people the capacity to lead healthy, successful lives. The key, as Benard reports in this synthesis of a decade and more of resiliency research, is the role that families, schools, and communities play in supporting, and not undermining, this biological drive for normal human development. Of special interest is the evidence that resiliency prevails in most cases by far, even in extreme situations, such as those caused by poverty, troubled families, and violent neighborhoods.

Benard, Bonnie, Resilience and Youth Development Module (RYDM) External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
This handbook is intended to serve as a tool for education and community agencies and researchers for understanding the RYDM data. It should be used in conjunction with local California Healthy Kids Survey technical reports to help interpret survey results. It also provides local prevention planners, school administrators, teachers, and School Improvement Teams with information and suggestions critical to planning prevention and education interventions.

Benard, Bonnie, Turning the Corner: From Risk to Resilience External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)  
This publication includes 21 research summaries to support busy practitioners in learning what works to help young people avoid health-risk behaviors, including substance abuse.

Promoting Resilience in Children: What Parents Can Do: Information for Families External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice
This brief identifies factors that may contribute to academic failure and behavioral problems (risk factors), as well as factors that help promote resiliency (protective factors). It also offers specific suggestions for parents and families on how to promote resiliency in their children.

Relationships Matter External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), Focus Newsletter 2004-05 Issue #1; Focus on Children, Boston Public Schools
While relationships, curriculum, and instruction are all needed to get students to proficiency, this newsletter emphasizes that creating stronger and more personal relationships is the critical first step because “relationships affect everything in a school.” Respectful relationships among adults form the foundation for a professional learning community in which staff feel comfortable analyzing their practice collaboratively and making adjustments. More positive relationships among students make them feel “safe” sharing their ideas and asking for help. Both come together in workshop classrooms, where the teacher and students get to know each other well. In such an environment, learning can go beyond what anyone ever thought was possible.

Questions: Coordinated School Health & Safety Office | schoolhealth@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0914 
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