chapter  4
12 Pages

Understanding Resilient Students: The Use of National Longitudinal Databases: Samuel S. Peng

Studies of child development and learning have often revealed that many children from stressful environments thrive unexpectedly well in school and career development (Rolf, Masten, Cicchetti, Nuechterlein, & Weintraub, 1990; Rutter, 1984, 1990; Werner, 1989). This phenomenon, known as resilience, has drawn increasing attention from educational researchers as a viable new discipline that might enhance our understanding of at-risk students and help us find ways to mitigate the effect of risks and adversities. As Winfield (1991) noted, "In order to move beyond simply identifying and categorizing youth at risk, the focus must necessarily shift to understanding the notion of resilience.... The critical issues for policy and instruction center around identifying the protective processes and mechanisms that reduce risk and foster resilience" (p. 7).