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Document Type

Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

Year Degree Awarded

2016

Month Degree Awarded

May

First Advisor

Sally Galman

Second Advisor

Darrell Earnest

Third Advisor

Elizabeth McEneaney

Fourth Advisor

Laura Lovett

Subject Categories

Education

Abstract

There is a historic high number of homeless children in the United States, based on the most recent U.S. Department of Education count of homeless children in public schools and on the 2013 U.S. Census data. There was an 8% increase nationally in the number of children experiencing homelessness from 2012-2013. In the United States 1 in 30 children are homeless. Research has focused primarily on risk and protective factors as reasons why some children are able to cope with adversity, while others are not. Most studies have relied heavily on the perspective of parents or educators working with homeless children, rather than from the sole perspective of children. Information gathered directly from homeless children will be more relevant to understanding the relationship between self-awareness of personal resilience and functioning in a school setting (e.g. achievement in school, peer relations and attendance). This exploratory study will explore homeless children’s view of personal attributes that are necessary for resiliency and ways in which service providers can best support resilience. The participants for this study consisted of 9 homeless children: five elementary, three middle school and one high school student. Data was obtained from Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents: A Profile of Personal Strengths and semi-structured interviews. Three overarching thematic categories emerged from the data (1) Resources-internal, relationships and school; (2) Vulnerability-internal and external; and (2) Resilience-motivation and rebuilding.

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