ERIC Number: EJ1039018
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Family Strengths and Resilience: Insights from a National Study
Roehlkepartain, Eugene C.; Syvertsen, Amy K.
Reclaiming Children and Youth, v23 n2 p13-18 Sum 2014
These authors often have opportunities to talk with practitioners in education, youth development, family services, and other fields about today's families. When asked about their own families, they will most often admit their quirks and challenges--but they generally express great appreciation for their families and how they add meaning, purpose, and joy to their lives. In contrast, when asked about the families they serve, or the families of the young people they seek to teach or engage, they often share quite a different story. There is general consternation with the perceived state of today's families and a defeatist attitude about the chances that they can effectively engage and work with families in ways that improve the well-being of the family, its children, and the broader community. Emerging research is stimulating new understanding about the strengths of families. This article describes The American Family Assets Study (Syvertsen, Roehlkepartain, & Scales, 2012) focused on families with young adolescents (a critical period of transitions in family relationships), surveying one parenting adult and one young person (age 10 to 15) in about 1,500 families nationwide. The survey was developed based on a review of the research on family processes, strengths, resilience, interviews and focus groups with youth and parents, and input from a national advisory board. Data were collected online in collaboration with Harris Interactive. Quotas were set to ensure the socioeconomic and cultural diversity of families and the final dataset was weighted to reflect the U.S. Census. Remarkably, family strengths, particularly relational factors, are powerfully related to the ability to surmount adversity.
Descriptors: Family (Sociological Unit), Family Relationship, Family Structure, Resilience (Psychology), Teachers, Family Programs, Interviews, Focus Groups, Parent Surveys, Parents, Early Adolescents
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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