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Yes We Can! Nurturing Resilience in Young People Judith A. Kahn AAHE Conference, Indianapolis, IN March 18, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Yes We Can! Nurturing Resilience in Young People Judith A. Kahn AAHE Conference, Indianapolis, IN March 18, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Yes We Can! Nurturing Resilience in Young People Judith A. Kahn AAHE Conference, Indianapolis, IN March 18, 2010

2 Protective Factors Experiences, events, circumstances that promote health and well-being Buffer young people from involvement in risky behaviors Exist in family, school, community and individual Nurture resilience in young people

3 Multi-Dimensional Model of Resilience Individual Factors associated with resilience (not exhaustive) Assertiveness Ability to solve problems Sense of humor Ability to live with uncertainty Self-awareness A positive outlook Empathy for others Having goals and aspirations

4 Multi-Dimensional Model of Resilience Relationship factors associated with resilience (not exhaustive) parenting that meets the child's needs appropriate emotional expression and parental monitoring within the family social competence the presence of a positive mentor and role models meaningful relationships with others at school, home, and perceived social support peer group acceptance

5 Multi-Dimensional Model of Resilience Community factors associated with resilience (not exhaustive) opportunities for age-appropriate work avoidance of exposure to violence in one's family, community, and with peers meaningful rights of passage with an appropriate amount of risk safety and security perceived social equity access to school and education, information, and learning resources





10 Protective Factors: Spheres of Influence Individual Protective Factors (not exhaustive) Average intelligence Religiosity Self-esteem

11 Family Protective Factors Family Protective Factors (not exhaustive) Connectedness Parental expectations Monitoring behavior

12 School Protective Factors School Protective Factors (not exhaustive) Connectedness to school High expectations Youth involvement in school decisions

13 Community Protective Factors Community Protective Factors (not exhaustive) Access to role models Informal supports for caregivers Access to resources/services

14 Good News! Health Behaviors are Interrelated Protective factors cluster Doing well in school is a protective factor against substance use, violence and risky sexual behavior. Effect of protective (and risk) factors is cumulative

15 Healthy Youth Development: A larger vision of what young people need.... the youth development framework assumes that young people have fundamental, underlying needs for healthy development. When these needs are met, these kids are more likely to develop as caring, compassionate individuals with lots of sparkle and zest for life. Michael Resnick, University of MN

16 Youth Development according to Gisela Konopka: 1973 Youth need the opportunity to: Participate as citizens, as members of a household, as workers, and as responsible members of society Gain experience in decision making Interact with peers, and acquire a sense of belonging Reflect on self in relation to others, and discover self by looking outward as well as inward

17 Youth Development according to Gisela Konopka (cont.) Youth need the opportunity to: Discuss conflicting values and formulate ones own value system Experiment with ones own identity, with relationships; try out various roles without having to commit oneself irrevocably Develop a feeling of accountability in the context of a relationship among equals. Cultivate a capacity to enjoy life.

18 Shifting to a Youth Development Approach Requires a shift from prevention to development Program or service goals shift to focus on the capacities, strengths, and developmental (phys., mental, social and emotional) needs of youth. Incorporates protective factors and emphasizes ways to tap young peoples passionate enthusiasms and energy. May necessitate programs to reinvent, rather than simply reorganize, how they work with youth

19 Developmentally Supportive Places Features*: Physical and psychological safety Appropriate structure Supportive adult relationships Feelings of belonging and being valued Opportunities to develop positive social values and norms Support for efficacy and mattering Opportunities for skill building and mastery *National Academies of Sciences/National Research Councils Panel on Community Youth Development Programs

20 SOS for Youth People, programs and institutions who work with youth are engaged in youth development if there is strong evidence of the following practices: Supports – motivational, emotional and strategic supports to succeed in life Opportunities – chances for young people to learn how to act in the world around them, to explore, express, earn, belong, and influence. Quality Services – in areas such as education, health, employment and juvenile justice Relevant Challenging, with opportunities to contribute Supportive adults and peers

21 Healthy development is not an individual process; rather, it is a community affair And its up to us – every day, in small and big ways, to help change the odds for children and youth. Why we not they can?

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