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Resiliency (December 1999)

What is psychological resiliency and what are the implications for gifted education?

Resiliency is the term applied to children exposed to severe risk factors, such as poverty, who nevertheless thrive and excel. It is the ability to spring back from and successfully adapt to adversity. Emmy Werner's longitudinal study indicated that resilient children, in spite of extreme disadvantagement, managed to succeed and contribute to society. Why are some children more resilient than others, despite shared risk factors? Werner's work focused on the factors that fostered resilience; for example, the presence of a mentor— grandparent or someone outside the family— provided consistent nurturing, support, and a role model.

Children who are gifted and who represent specific cultural and linguistic minority groups are, because of their family economic background and other environmental factors, more at risk than some other populations of gifted children. When one interprets these findings for use in developing preventative measures, if the mechanisms that foster resilience could be introduced during childhood, the children would have a better chance of achieving a successful adulthood.

Following are links to related ERIC Digests, Internet resources, and Internet discussion groups, as well as selected citations from the ERIC database and the search terms we used to find the citations.

You can search the ERIC database yourself on the Internet through either of the following web sites:

ERIC Citations

The full text of citations beginning with an ED number (for example, EDxxxxxx) is available:

  • In microfiche collections worldwide; to find your nearest ERIC Resource Collection, point your web browser to: http://ericae.net/derc.htm.
  • For a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS): http://edrs.com, service@edrs.com, or 1.800.443.ERIC. (no longer available)

The full text of citations beginning with an EJ number (for example, EJxxxxxx) is available for a fee from:

ERIC Search Terms Used

gifted (descriptor)


resilience OR resiliency

EJ549048 EC616844
Bright, Tough, and Resilient— Not in a Gifted Program.
Peterson, Jean Sunde
Journal of Secondary Gifted Education; v8 n3 p121-36 Spr 1997
Language: English
Publication Type: 080; 142
Report No: ISSN-1077-4610
Qualitative analysis of language generated in structured interviews with 11 high-ability at-risk middle school children (who had not been identified for gifted programs) yielded information concerning personal difficulties, perceived support, familiarity with danger and violence, home environment, school experiences, perceptions of the future, and resilience. Implications for identification and programming are drawn.
Descriptors: *Ability Identification; Educational Environment; Family Environment; *Gifted Disadvantaged; High Risk Students; Intermediate Grades; Interviews; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Qualitative Research; Student Attitudes; Student Characteristics; Student Experience; Violence

EJ569648 UD520815
Academically Talented Students and Resilient At-Risk Students: Differences on Self-Reported Risk and Protective Factors.
Worrell, Frank C.
Journal of At-Risk Issues; v4 n1 p10-18 Sum-Fall 1997
Language: English
Publication Type: 080; 143
Examined differences between academically talented female high school students who were not at risk (n=24), and similar resilient at-risk students (n=17) on individual and environmental risk and protective factors. Hypotheses that the two groups would differ on risk factors, but not protective factors, were generally supported, suggesting a psychosocial approach to dropout prevention.
Descriptors: *Academically Gifted; *Dropout Prevention; Dropouts; Females; *High Risk Students; High School Students; High Schools; Individual Differences; *Resilience (Personality)
Identifiers: *Protective Factors; Psychosocial Factors

 ED407824 EC305584
Gifted and At Risk. Fastback 398.
Dixon, Cathy; And Others
Publication Date: 1996
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Indiana
Institution Name: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Bloomington, IN.
Publication Type: 055
Availability: Phi Delta Kappa, Department of Special Publications, P.O. Box 789, Bloomington, IN 47402-0789; telephone: 812-339-1156.
EDRS Price - MF01 Plus Postage. PC Not Available from EDRS.
Comments: 41p.
Report No: ISBN-0-87367-598-3
This booklet discusses students who are gifted and at risk of school failure. The different types of problems gifted children face and ways to identify if they are at risk are reviewed. Checklists are provided for teachers of gifted students, regular classroom teachers and counselors, and parents of gifted students to assist in the identification of risk characteristics. The booklet also describes school, home, college, and community strategies strategies for building resiliency in gifted students to keep them from becoming at risk. Information on school strategies includes a discussion of the global, kinesthetic, or tactual learning styles of most gifted students. Some teaching strategies discussed are to step out of the traditional mold, rethink the classroom, restructure tests, be flexible, provide independent learning time and assistance, use more manipulatives, create hands-on classrooms that allow much more movement, and allow gifted students to take charge of their learning. Parent strategies include reading aloud, reading together, providing access to information, nurturing intense interests, ensuring children do regular homework and participate in school activities, and ensuring gifted and non-gifted siblings assume equal roles in family routines.
Descriptors: Check Lists; Cognitive Processes; Educational Strategies; Elementary Secondary Education; *Emotional Problems; *Gifted; *High Risk Students; Learning Disabilities; *Parent Child Relationship; *Talent Identification; Underachievement

EJ542696 EC615604
Portraits of Resilience: The Urban Life Experience of Gifted Latino Young Men.
Hebert, Thomas P.
Roeper Review; v19 n2 p82-90 Dec 1996
Language: English
Publication Type: 080; 143
Report No: ISSN-0278-3193
Explores the resilience of three gifted Latino high school students who live in the inner city. The sources of their resilience are examined. Implications for resilience in gifted youth are discussed and recommendations are made for nurturing resilience in urban teenagers to ensure greater success in life.
Descriptors: *Coping; *Gifted; High Schools; Hispanic Americans; Influences; Inner City; *Personality Traits; Student Development; *Student Experience; Urban Areas; *Urban Culture
Identifiers: *Latinos; *Resilience (Personality)

EJ538215 RC511773
Academic Invulnerability among a Selected Group of Latino University Students.
Arellano, Adele R.; Padilla, Amado M.
Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences; v18 n4 p485-507 Nov 1996
Language: English
Publication Type: 143; 080
Report No: ISSN-0739-9863
Interviews with 30 successful undergraduate Latino students in a highly selective university revealed that although most students came from "at-risk" socioeconomic backgrounds, they had access to specific personal and environmental resources that made them invulnerable to negative consequences of educational risk. Stresses the importance of enriched school programs for Latino students. Contains 38 references.
Descriptors: Academically Gifted; Educational Attitudes; Educational Environment; *Educational Experience; Ethnicity; *High Achievement; *High Risk Students; Higher Education; Mentors; Mexican American Education; Mexican Americans; Parent Influence; Parent Student Relationship; Secondary Education; Self Esteem; Socioeconomic Background; *Student Attitudes; Student Characteristics; Student Educational Objectives; *Undergraduate Students
Identifiers: *Latinos; *Resilience (Personality)

ED414687 EC306032
Case Studies of Talented Students Who Achieve and Underachieve in an Urban High School. Research Monograph 95120.
Reis, Sally M.; Hebert, Thomas P.; Diaz, Eva I.; Maxfield, Lori R.; Ratley, Michael E.
Publication Date: 1995
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Connecticut
INSTITUTION_NAME: National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, Storrs, CT.
Publication Type: 141
EDRS Price - MF01/PC12 Plus Postage.
Comments: 284p.
This 3-year study compared characteristics of high ability students who were identified as high achievers with students of similar ability who underachieved in school. The 35 students attended a large urban high school comprised of 60 percent Puerto Rican students, 20 percent African American, and the remainder White, Asian, and other. Qualitative methods were used to examine the perceptions of students, teachers, staff, and administrators concerning academic achievement. The study found that achievement and underachievement are not disparate concepts, since many students who underachieved had previously achieved at high levels and some generally high achieving students experienced periods of underachievement. A network of high achieving friends was characteristic of achieving students. No relationships were found between poverty and underachievement, between parental divorce and underachievement, or between family size and underachievement. Successful students supported the concept of grouping in honors and advanced classes, had supportive adults in their lives, and participated in multiple extracurricular activities. High achieving females usually chose not to date. High achieving students characteristically had a strong belief in self and resilience to negative factors. Cultural and gender differences were also found. Case studies of the 35 students are included.
Descriptors: *Academic Achievement; Asian Americans; Black Students; Case Studies; Cultural Differences; Disadvantaged Youth; Family Environment; *Gifted; *High Achievement; High School Students; High Schools; Hispanic Americans; Homogeneous Grouping; Parent Participation; Poverty; Puerto Ricans; *Resilience (Personality); Self Esteem; Sex Differences; Social Support Groups; Student Characteristics; *Underachievement; *Urban Education; White Students

EJ497610 EC610402
Nurturing Resilience in Gifted Black Youth.
Ford, Donna Y.
Roeper Review; v17 n2 p80-85 Dec 1994
Language: English
Publication Type: 080; 070; 120
Report No: ISSN-0278-3193
This article explores the concept of resilience as it relates to gifted children, particularly gifted black children, and identifies barriers to resilience. Recommendations for fostering resilience in these students are offered, including improve family-school-community relations, enhance self-concept, and improve social and emotional relations. Descriptors: *Black Students; *Coping; Elementary Secondary Education; *Gifted; Personality Traits; *Student Adjustment; *Student Development
Identifiers: *Resilience (Personality)

EJ497609 EC610401
An Overview of Resilience in Gifted Children.
Bland, Lori C.; And Others
Roeper Review; v17 n2 p77-80 Dec 1994
Language: English
Publication Type: 080; 070
Report No: ISSN-0278-3193
This paper examines characteristics of resilience and compares characteristics of giftedness and resilience. It discusses cognitive appraisal as a mechanism used by gifted children as they develop resilience. Applications for working with gifted students and areas for future research are noted.
Descriptors: *Classroom Techniques; Cognitive Structures; *Coping; Elementary Secondary Education; *Gifted; Personality Traits; Research Needs; *Student Adjustment; Student Characteristics; *Student Development
Identifiers: *Resilience (Personality)

EJ497612 EC610404
Issues in the Social and Emotional Adjustments and Development of a Gifted, Chinese American Student.
Plucker, Jonathan A.
Roeper Review; v17 n2 p89-94 Dec 1994
Language: English
Publication Type: 080; 141
Report No: ISSN-0278-3193
This study of a gifted 13-year-old Asian American male examines stressors and strategies in his adjustment; his resiliency and hardiness; his development in cognitive, socioemotional, and ethnic identity areas; and influences upon his adjustment (family, school, peers, intrapersonal, and ethnic identity).
Descriptors: *Chinese Americans; Cultural Awareness; *Emotional Adjustment; *Ethnicity; *Gifted; Grade 7; Identification (Psychology); Junior High Schools; Males; *Social Adjustment; Student Adjustment; Student Development

EJ445878 EC603241
Ideas with Impact.
Robinson, Ann
Journal for the Education of the Gifted; v15 n3 p291-94 Spr 1992
Language: English
Publication Type: 080; 120
Report No: ISSN-0162-3532
The idea of "resiliency" (successful development of children despite stressful childhoods) is related to ideas of gifted education. Three publications addressing the idea of resiliency are reviewed.
Descriptors: *At Risk Persons; *Child Development; *Coping; Elementary Secondary Education; *Environmental Influences; Exceptional Persons; *Gifted; Stress Variables
Identifiers: *Resiliency

ED344979 UD028669
Overcoming the Odds: High Risk Children from Birth to Adulthood.
Werner, Emmy E.; Smith, Ruth S.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; New York
Publication Type: 010; 141; 160
Publication Date: 1992
Availability: Cornell University Press, 124 Roberts Place, Ithaca, NY 14850 (paperback, ISBN-0-8014-8018-3; hardback, ISBN-0-8014-2584-0).
EDRS Price: Document Not Available from EDRS.
Comments: 289p.
Report No: ISBN-0-8014-8018-3
The lives of 505 individuals born in 1955 on the island of Kauai (Hawaii) were followed from the prenatal period to adulthood to elucidate their resilience in the face of childhood adversity or their recovery in later years. The Kauai Longitudinal Study monitored the impact of a variety of biological and psychosocial risk factors, stressful life events, and protective factors on the development of these individuals from a mixture of ethnic groups (primarily Japanese, Hawaiian, and Pilipino). One of every three members of this cohort was born with the odds against successful development. Nevertheless, one of every three of these high risk children had developed into a confident, capable, and caring young adult by age 18. This book, the fourth about this cohort, examines members at 30 years of age, with emphasis on work life, marriage, and parenthood. Attention is paid to outcomes for teenage mothers, juvenile delinquents, and children with mental health problems as they mature. A common core of individual differences and sources of support is beginning to emerge that ameliorates or buffers a person's responses to constitutional risk factors or stressful life events. Several case histories and vignettes illustrate the struggles of cohort members. Twenty-eight tables in two appendices and nine figures supplement the discussion. Included are 142 references.
Descriptors: *Achievement; *At Risk Persons; Case Studies; Cohort Analysis; Delinquency; *Disadvantaged Youth; Early Parenthood; *Economically Disadvantaged; Ethnic Groups; *Individual Development; Individual Differences; *Life Events; Longitudinal Studies; Mental Disorders; Resistance (Psychology)
Identifiers: *Hawaii (Kauai); Vulnerability

EJ432837 EC601456
Changes in Emotional Resilience: Gifted Adolescent Boys.
Kline, Bruce E.; Short, Elizabeth B.
Roeper Review; v13 n4 p184-87 Jun 1991
Language: English
This study with 82 gifted males (grades 1-12) used a questionnaire which focused on self-confidence, perfectionism, relationships with parents, relationships with peers, hopelessness, and discouragement. Findings indicated a significantly higher level of discouragement and hopeless feeling for junior high school boys as compared with senior high school boys.
Descriptors: *Age Differences; Elementary Secondary Education; *Emotional Adjustment; *Gifted; High Schools; *Individual Development; Junior High Schools; *Males; Parent Child Relationship; Peer Relationship; Questionnaires; Self Evaluation (Individuals); *Student Attitudes

EJ430003 EC601506
Changes in Emotional Resilience: Gifted Adolescent Females.
Kline, Bruce E.; Short, Elizabeth B.
Roeper Review; v13 n3 p118-21 Apr 1991
Language: English
Publication Type: 080; 143
Report No: ISSN-0278-3193
The study, with 89 gifted girls in grades 1-12, found decreased self-regard, self-confidence, inner courage, and self-assurance with increased age. Levels of perfectionism, hopelessness, discouragement, and emotional vulnerability rose with increasing age. Findings suggest the need for strong identity information and models and the encouragement of emotional stability and life direction.
Descriptors: Adolescents; *Age Differences; Educational Needs; Elementary Secondary Education; Emotional Development; Emotional Problems; *Females; *Gifted; Individual Development; *Personality Traits; *Self Concept; *Self Esteem; Self Evaluation (Individuals)

ED290544 PS017088
Vulnerability and Resiliency: A Longitudinal Study of Asian Americans from Birth to Age 30.
Werner, Emmy E.
Publication Date: 1987
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; California
Publication Type: 143; 150
EDRS Price - MF01/PC02 Plus Postage.
Comments: 39p.; Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development (9th, Tokyo, Japan, July 15, 1987). Research also supported by the Sidney S. Stern Foundation, Los Angeles.
A 30-year longitudinal study was undertaken in order to document the course, and determine the outcome, of all pregnancies in a community of Asian Americans on Kauai, the western most of the Hawaiian Islands and equidistant from the continental United States and Japan. The project's goal was to document both the good and poor outcomes of the children's development by focusing on the children's vulnerability--susceptibility to negative environmental factors--and the roots of their resiliency--ability to cope with biological and psychosocial risk factors. The study population consisted of all live births among ethnically Hawaiian, Pilipino, and Japanese residents. Public health officials, physicians, teachers, and social workers cooperated to collect the data. Findings indicated that during the period of time which began with pregnancy and ended two decades later, the reproductive and care-taking casualities amounted to about half of those conceived and one-third of those born alive. In addition, three out of four children with four or more risk factors developed problems, while one out of four exhibited resiliency. Resilient children exhibited many stress-reducing characteristics. A follow-up study looked into resilient and high risk groups after 30 years, and determined the most stressful events and most successful coping mechanisms; the latter included: (1) genetically based dispositional attributes; (2) strong affectional ties to the family; and (3) external support systems that rewarded the individual's competencies.
Descriptors: *Asian Americans; Child Rearing; *Coping; *Cultural Influences; Family Influence; *High Risk Persons; *Individual Development; Longitudinal Studies; Parent Child Relationship; Personality Development; Prenatal Influences; Racial Factors; Sociocultural Patterns; *Stress Variables
Identifiers: Hawaii (Kauai)

EJ314224 PS512993
Research in Review. Resilient Children.
Werner, Emmy E.
Young Children; v40 n1 p68-72 Nov 1984
Language: English
Publication Type: 080; 143
Identifies four central characteristics common in psychologically resilient children, discussing the role of protective factors within and outside the family and the shifting balance between vulnerability and resiliency. Implications for early childhood educators are drawn.
Descriptors: *Children; Early Childhood Education; Emotional Adjustment; *Emotional Problems; Family Environment; *Family Influence; *Parent Attitudes; *Parent Child Relationship; Parent Role; Psychological Needs; *Security (Psychology)
Identifiers: *Resiliency (Psychological)

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