This study examined academic resiliency factors among American Samoa Community College students and faculty. During the 1980s American educations were increasingly concerned about the apparent rise in at-risk factors in students. In the 1990s, despite their identified at-risk factors, many young people became productive members of society. Researchers focused on resilient students to determine what factors contributed to their success. This research, based on McMillan and Reed's conceptual model of resilience, was a quality ethnographic study using surveys and an in-depth interview method. Eight Samoan students (4 males and 4 females) completed surveys and interviews for analysis. The students were born in Samoa, spoke Samoan as their native language, came from an at-risk background as defined by socioeconomic factors, and were considered resilient based on their GPAs. In addition, 10 faculty members completed surveys characterizing resiliency from the past generation.
The findings were congruent with McMillan and Reed's model in several aspects: The students had a strong sense of seff-efficacy, a positive attitude about self, respect for others, belonged to a peer group, had positive goals, and practiced positive use of time. The study differed from McMillan and Reed in several crucial areas. The socioeconomic structure of Samoan society is vastly different from that of the United States, and, therefore, it is unclear whether these students were at-risk at all. One significant resiliency factor for Samoan students was their ability to bond with their same-gender peer group. Their major resiliency factor was belonging to a large, powerful extended family.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 62-10, Section: A, page: 3295.
Adviser: Stephen Powers.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Walden University, 2001.