Greg Jennings: The Ecology of Resiliency in Diverse and Urban Schools


Published on

From the 2010 UC Berkeley School Psychology Conference

Dr. Greg Jennings
Professor and Coordinator of the School Psychology Program at California State University, East Bay

The Ecology of Resiliency in Diverse and Urban Schools
Student stress is not relegated to high expectation environments. With the threat of violence, depleted resources, and community instability, students in urban and diverse schools face different stressors, but the effects on academic performance and well-being can be equally deleterious. Understanding these stressors and supporting students through stressful periods necessitates inquiry and involvement in multiple layers of a student's environment. Thus, Dr. Jennings takes an ecological approach to address student stress and learning in diverse and urban environments. This session will focus on resiliency as an outcome of support in families and schools (e.g., caring relationships, meaningful participation, and connectedness). In addition, Dr. Jennings will discuss measures of environmental support that buffer against stress. To close, Dr. Jennings will invite questions, thoughts, and reflections from the audience.

Published in: Education
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Greg Jennings: The Ecology of Resiliency in Diverse and Urban Schools

  1. 1. UC Berkeley 43 rd Annual Conference Students Under Pressure: Helping Manage Stress and Anxiety May 7, 2010 Greg Jennings, Ph.D The Ecology of Resiliency in Diverse and Urban Schools
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Risk and Resiliency- Poverty and Stress </li></ul><ul><li>Strength-Based Ecology </li></ul><ul><li>Systemic Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul>
  3. 3. I. Risk and Resiliency <ul><li>Stress </li></ul><ul><li>Risk </li></ul><ul><li>Resiliency </li></ul>
  4. 4. Price of Poverty: Stress <ul><li>Missed Opportunities for Cognitive, Social, and Emotional Skill Development </li></ul><ul><li>Family Instability </li></ul><ul><li>Higher Exposure to Environmental Toxins </li></ul><ul><li>Lower Nutrition </li></ul><ul><li>School Building and Housing Structural Inadequacies </li></ul>See Brooks-Gunn & Duncan (1997)
  5. 5. Multiple Cumulative Stressors of Poverty <ul><li>Family Turmoil </li></ul><ul><li>Child Separation </li></ul><ul><li>Violence Exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Crowding </li></ul><ul><li>Noise Exposure </li></ul><ul><li>Housing Quality </li></ul><ul><li>Evans (2004) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Resilience <ul><li>Resilience refers to a dynamic process encompassing positive adaptation within the context of significant adversity . </li></ul><ul><li>Two critical conditions are: </li></ul><ul><li>(1) exposure to significant threat or severe adversity; and (2) the achievement of positive adaptation despite major assaults on the developmental process (Garmezy, 1990;Luthar & Zigler, 1991;Masten, Best, & Garmezy, 1990;Rutter, 1990;Werner & Smith, 1982,1992) Cited in Luthar, Cicchetti, & Becker, 2007) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Ecology of Resiliency
  8. 8. Resiliency <ul><li>The ability to &quot;bounce back or recover from a disappointment, obstacle, or setback&quot; (Demos, 1989). </li></ul><ul><li>A coping with disruptive, stressful or challenging life events in a way that provides more protective and coping skills than one possesses prior to the disruption (Higgins, 1994). </li></ul>
  9. 9. Resiliency Requires Balance <ul><li>“ As long as the balance between stressful events and protective factors is favorable, successful adaptation is possible even for youngsters who live in ‘high risk’ conditions. However,…. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Resiliency Requires Balance <ul><li>… However, when stressful life events outweigh the protective factors in a child’s life, even the most resilient individual can develop problems.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Werner, 1998, p. 8). </li></ul>
  11. 11. Environmental Risks of Poverty and Characteristics of Successful Schools * Evans (2004) + Borman & Overman (2004)
  12. 12. School-Based Models for Intervention <ul><li>Effective Schools Model: Safe, orderly school environment. Academic development & success shields adversity through self-esteem, efficacy, and belonging. (Academic Press) </li></ul><ul><li>Resource Model: Improved resources provide greater opportunities for learning and coping. </li></ul><ul><li>Community Model: Community, democracy, and ethic of caring. Success starts with healthy social and personal adjustment. (Social Support) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Academic Press <ul><li>Amount of Time Spent on Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Clear Achievement-Oriented Goals </li></ul><ul><li>High Expectations for Student Achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Phillips (1997) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Elias, Zins, Graczyk, & Weissberg (2003) Opportunities as Contexts for Skills & Stress Reduction
  15. 15. Social Support <ul><li>Caring Relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Meaningful Participation </li></ul><ul><li>High Expectations </li></ul><ul><li>School Connectedness </li></ul>Bernard (2004)
  16. 16. Caring Relationships and Stress Reduction <ul><li>Relationships lie at the “roots” of resilience: when everyday relationships reflect ongoing abuse, rancor, and insecurity, this profoundly threatens resilience as well as the personal attributes that might otherwise have fostered it. Conversely, the presence of support, love, and security fosters resilience in part, by reinforcing people's innate strengths (Luthar & Brown, 2007, p. 19) </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Effective schools in low-SES communities are better able to ameliorate the negative effects of poverty on students' feelings about school by successfully creating caring communities (Battistich, Solomon, Kim, Watson & Schaps, 1995, as cited in Griffiths, Sharkey, and Furlong, 2009, p. 203). </li></ul>
  18. 18. Caring Support for Engagement Furlong et al (2003)
  19. 19. Academic Press & Social Support <ul><li>“In schools with a strong press toward academics, students who experience high levels of support learn a lot. In schools where the academic press is low, even students with high levels of social support do not learn. And for students who do not have much social support to draw on, attending a school with high levels of academic press does not help them learn (Lee & Smith, 1999, p. 935) . </li></ul>
  20. 20. Academic Press & Social Support Social Support + + - -
  21. 21. II. Strength-Based Ecology
  22. 22. Individuals’ Strength-Based Propositions <ul><li>Humans are self-righting and have a lifelong capacity for strength development and for growth and change </li></ul><ul><li>People develop strengths as a result of internal and external forces during struggles with adversity </li></ul><ul><li>Strength levels vary, ranging on a continuum depending on environment, family, and individual characteristics . (Levels are dynamic) </li></ul><ul><li>Strengths act as buffers against mental illness . Smith (2006) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Strength-Based Intervention Propositions <ul><li>Youth are motivated to change when supporters focus on their strengths rather than on their deficits. </li></ul><ul><li>Supporters consciously and intentionally honor youths’ efforts and struggles to deal with her or his problems/ issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Youth need to heal and make peace with painful experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Race, class and gender are organizing elements in every helping interaction. </li></ul><ul><li>Smith (2006) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Measuring the “Support Gap” <ul><li>Anglo American; </li></ul><ul><li>(2) African American; </li></ul><ul><li>(3) Latino/Hispanic </li></ul><ul><li>American; </li></ul><ul><li>(4) Asian American; </li></ul><ul><li>(5) Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander; </li></ul><ul><li>(6) Native Alaskan/American Indian; </li></ul><ul><li>(7) Other Ethnic </li></ul>(Jennings & Tran, 2009)
  25. 25. III. Systemic Planning <ul><li>Ecological Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Intervention Selection </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation & Training </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation and Follow up </li></ul>
  26. 26. STEPS IN DATA-BASED SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL INTERVENTION <ul><li>A. Ecological Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Select Intervention Team </li></ul><ul><li>Identify school’s environmental strengths and weaknesses </li></ul><ul><li>Identify students’ asset strengths and weaknesses (e.g., CHKS) </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct focused discussions of data </li></ul><ul><li>Prioritize areas of support needed by groups (race, language, SES) </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>B. Intervention Selection </li></ul><ul><li>Review CASEL to match: target needs, school population, school resources </li></ul><ul><li>Review relevant programs (Apply the “Characteristics” of successful programs) </li></ul><ul><li>Present selected programs for stakeholders’ discussion </li></ul>
  28. 28. Characteristics of Successful Intervention Programs <ul><li>1. Comprehensive </li></ul><ul><li>2. Varied Teaching Methods </li></ul><ul><li>3. Sufficient Dosage </li></ul><ul><li>4. Theory Driven </li></ul><ul><li>5. Positive Relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriately Timed </li></ul><ul><li>Socioculturally Relevant </li></ul><ul><li>8. Outcomes Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>9. Well-trained Staff </li></ul>(Nation et al., 2003)
  29. 29. <ul><li>C. Implementation and Training </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule Intervention Team meetings to review goals, curriculum, logistics, and resource/training needs </li></ul><ul><li>Foster system-level communication (teacher, parent, student, community discussion) </li></ul><ul><li>Train teachers and program supporters </li></ul><ul><li>Initiate program with pre-data-collection and coordinated introduction to students </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>D. Evaluation and Follow up </li></ul><ul><li>Plan intervals for process review, student responsiveness, and teacher/facilitator treatment integrity </li></ul><ul><li>Align program target goals, student outcome measures, and program performance </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct formal evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Follow-up with program intervention “boosters” for student and follow-up data collection after a determined time period </li></ul>
  31. 31. Discussion <ul><li>How should School Psychologists and Researchers begin to advocate for more strength-based school environments, given the current educational challenges (e.g., funding and press for testing)? </li></ul><ul><li>What can we make of the range of differences in stress and anxiety among high and low SES communities? </li></ul><ul><li>What individual and school-wide interventions interest you? How can we collaborate? </li></ul>
  32. 32. Select References <ul><li>Bernard, B. (2004). Resiliency: What we have learned. WestEd: San Francisco, CA. </li></ul><ul><li>Borman, G.D. & Overman, L.T. (2004). Academic resilience in mathematics among </li></ul><ul><li>poor and minority students. The Elementary School Journal, 104, (3), pp. 177-195. The University of Chicago Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Brooks-Gunn, J. & Duncan, G.,J. (1997). The Effects of poverty on children. The Future </li></ul><ul><li>of Children, 7,(2) Princeton University </li></ul><ul><li>Elias, M.J., Zins, J.E., Graczyk, P.A., & Weissberg,R.P. (2003). Implementation, </li></ul><ul><li>sustainability, and scaling up of social- emotional and academic innovations in public schools. School Psychology Review, 32, (3), pp. 303-319 </li></ul><ul><li>Evans, G. W. (2004). The environment of childhood poverty. American Psychologist, </li></ul><ul><li>59(2), 77–92 </li></ul><ul><li>Fox, R. F. (2004). A brief history of resilience: From early beginnings to current </li></ul><ul><li>constructions. In C.S. Clauss-Ehlers and M.D. Weist Eds. Community planning to foster resilience in children. Pp. 13-26 New York: Kluwer Academic/Plennum </li></ul>
  33. 33. Select References <ul><li>Jennings, G. & Tran, O. K. (2009, February). The impact of asset </li></ul><ul><li>gaps: Implications for service and training. Poster presentation presented at the National Association of School psychologists, Boston, MA. </li></ul><ul><li>Jimerson, S.R., Sharkey, J.D., Nyborg, V., & Furlong, M.J. (2004). Strength-based </li></ul><ul><li>assessment and school psychology: A summary and synthesis. The California School Psychologist, 9, pp. 9-19. </li></ul><ul><li>Lee, V., E., & Smith, J., B. (1999). Social support and achievement for young </li></ul><ul><li>adolescents in Chicago: the role of school academic press. American Educational Research Journal. 36(4) pp. 907-945 </li></ul><ul><li>Luthar, S. S., & Brown, P.J. (2007). Maximizing resilience through diverse levels </li></ul><ul><li>of inquiry: Prevailing paradigms, possibilities, and priorities for the future. Developmental Psychopathology . 2007, 19(3): 931–955. </li></ul><ul><li>Nation, M., Crusto, C., Wandersman, A., Kumpfer, K. L., Seybolt, D., et al., (2003). </li></ul><ul><li>What works in prevention: Principles of effective intervention programs. American Psychologist, 58 , 449-456. </li></ul>
  34. 34. Select References <ul><li>Phillips, M. (1997). What makes schools effective? A comparison of the relationships of </li></ul><ul><li>communitarian climate and academic climate to mathematics achievement and attendance during middle school. American Educational Research Journal, 34, 633-662. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Smith, E. J., (2006). The strength-based counseling model. The Counseling </li></ul><ul><li>Psychologist, 34, 13-79. </li></ul><ul><li>WestEd (2009). California Healthy Kids Survey . Los Alamitos, CA: WestEd. </li></ul>