Black students' recollections of pathways to resilience: lessons for school psychologists

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    Drawing on narrative data from a multiple case study, I recount the life stories of two resilient Black South African university students to theorize about the processes that encouraged these students, familiar with penury and parental illiteracy, to resile. I aimed to uncover lessons for school psychologists about resilience, and their role in its promotion, from these students’ recollections. To this end, I first synthesize what the resilience literature reports as generic processes of resilience. Thereafter, I illustrate how these processes were common to the students’ stories of resilience, drawing attention to how Africentricism shaped these processes. The understanding of resilience that flows from this case study illustrates the more recent contentions that resilience theory needs to account for the influence of culture on positive adjustment and translate this into culturally sensitive interventions towards resilience. The broad implications for school psychologists include recognition that resilience processes are nuanced by the socio-cultural ecology in which youths are situated and awareness that resilience processes require multiple ecosystemic partners. For school psychologists working with students of African descent, the importance of understanding how resilience processes are informed by an Africentric world view is foregrounded, along with attentiveness to the caveats implicit in this lesson