South African middle adolescents are exposed to environments riddled with potential adversities which are pervading into their lives, adding to their challenges inherent to their developmental stage. Resilient behaviour requires changes with each developmental phase and varies on a continuum of less optimum resilience to optimum resilience based on the middle adolescent’s developed modalities. Middle adolescents spend a significant time in school and therefore it is an appropriate context to foster, enhance and develop emotional-; social- and cognitive resilience competencies. There are limited psychological assessment instruments for the South African population that can be used to appraise the level of resilience modalities in middle adolescents as well as ways of enhancing and developing these resilience modalities in the school context. The aim of this ethnographic study is to describe and explore the process of how to appraise, develop and enhance the modalities of resilience of the South African middle adolescent in the school context. The research is conducted from a combined qualitative and quantitative approach which is seen as complementary to each other in a dominant-less-dominant model. The purposeful sampling consists of thirty 14-year old heterogeneous and multi-cultural participants in a private inner-city school. The data collecting strategies comprise of an open-ended question, observations and the newly developed Resilience Enhancement Kit and the Resiliency Scale. The gender specific results regarding the middle adolescents’ responses in the pre- and post tests (Resiliency Scale) after administering the Resilience Enhancement Kit indicated that there was an increase in their level of resilient functioning and therefore appears to be successful in enhancing resilience modalities. There is a discrepancy in the perception of teachers and middle adolescents’ regarding their resilient functioning. It is recommended that Educational Psychologists train teachers in administering the Resiliency Enhancement Kit and scale to incorporate it in the school curriculum.
Thesis (Phd (Educational Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2007.