Date of Conferral







Susan Rarick


Positive youth development (PYD) frameworks that guide PYD services suggest at-risk youth need to develop resiliency attitudes and resiliency skills in order to prevent long-term failure in their adult lives. This concept is based on multiple developmental theories that suggest increased levels of resiliency make it easier to navigate challenging situations. Adjudicated youth have faced a major setback in their short lives, yet they still have an opportunity to become successful and avoid additional jail time, if they are able to display a strong sense of resilience. Many youth development programs geared toward serving adjudicated youth, lack the appropriate structure and services to ensure youth are able to develop strong resiliency attitudes and skills. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of PYD services on the resiliency attitudes and skills of teenage girls at an all-girls Department of Juvenile Justice residential facility. Archival data from the Resiliency Attitudes and Skills Profile (RASP) were used. RASP identifies the following domains as indicators of resiliency attitudes and skills: humor, creativity, insight, initiative, independence, relationships, and values orientation. Multiple regression analysis showed that the longer residents are in the program, the better they scored on the relationships, insight, humor, and creativity domains. Since culture can have an impact on youth development, race and ethnicity were analyzed. Hispanic residents did better on the overall RASP and the values orientation, insight, initiative, and creativity domains. These findings may help youth development professionals understand the importance for troubled youth to remain in a developmental program for a longer time while engaging in activities geared toward increasing resiliency.