QuestionQuestion

The Project consists of four parts:
• Parts 1 and 2 ask you to reflect on what you have learned throughout the course.
• Parts 3 and 4 ask you to explore an area of research on resilience that is of particular interest to you.
Instructions
Detailed instructions for the four parts follow.
Part 1: Reflection on the Evolution of Resilience Research
Consider the various research articles you have read for this course and reflect on how research on resilience has changed. Consider, for example, how our understanding of individual, family, and community protective factors has gone beyond Emmy Werner’s initial findings you read about in Module 1. How are these factors associated with increased resilience for at-risk individuals and populations? What key issues are important to consider when conducting research in the area of human resilience? How has research on resilience shifted since Werner’s groundbreaking study? Note for example, the viewpoint expressed in the Walsh reading in Module 3, Topic 1. What are the issues or questions that researchers have suggested are still in need of future research? What research findings presented in the course have you found the most interesting? The most surprising? And why?
Your reflection should be approximately 500–750 words (about 2–3 pages) and should provide evidence from the course readings to support your reflection.

Part 2: Reflection on the Definition of Resilience
Reflect on how your personal definition of “resilience” has or has not changed as you have worked your way through this course. In composing your reflection, consider the following questions:
How would you respond to Michael Chandler’s concern (see the video clip on definitions of resilience in Module 1) about defining resilient individuals as those who are made of “stainless steel” and non-resilient individuals as those who are made of “celluloid”?
    Does the “stainless steel” metaphor suggest that only the lucky few are resilient because they carry a particular trait or personality characteristic?
    Based on what you have learned from the research presented in the course, would you characterize this definition as misleading? Why or why not?
    Can conditions external to the individual promote or undermine resilience?
Your reflection should be approximately 500–750 words (about 2–3 pages) and should provide evidence from what you have learned to support your reflection.

Part 3: Research on Human Resilience
Parts 3 and 4 of the Project ask you to explore in more depth a research area in resilience that is of particular interest to you and to explain how the research and ideas contribute to our understanding of human resilience. (Note that Part 4 builds on your work in Part 3.)
Select a specific topic in research on human resilience to examine more closely. You may want to consider a topic with which you have some personal interest or connection. For instance, if you work with mentally delayed children, you may be interested in researching the protective factors that build resilience into these children. If you have a strong interest in youth resilience in poor, violent neighborhoods, you may want to examine the protective factors that increase resilience in these youth. Note that you may examine any combination of individual, family, and community protective factors that build resilience in the at-risk population you have selected. You may also consider using as a springboard any of the research articles discussed in the modules, except for those articles directly associated with an assignment option. (See “Sample Topics” for other ideas.)

Once you have selected a topic of interest, find two or three research articles, using the following criteria:
• The articles should all focus on a particular at-risk group.
• The resources you select should be fairly recent, (i.e., published no earlier than 1990).
• At least one article should be from a peer-reviewed journal.
• At least one article should be an actual research study.

Proposal
Complete a proposal for Part 3 of the project and submit it to your Open Learning Faculty Member for evaluation and feedback.
The research proposal for this part of the Project is a required component.
    In a brief paragraph, provide information on your research topic and the major issues you intend to examine.
    Include an annotated bibliography that lists the articles you intend to use. Include the full citation (using APA format), including title, author(s), and source for each of your choices. In the annotation, very briefly (about 100–125 words) describe the main ideas presented in the article and inform the reader of the quality of the source and its relevance to parts 3 and 4 of the Project
Submit your proposal after you have completed Module 3, following the same submission procedures as outlined for the assignments, using the phrase “Proposal” in the subject line of your message to your Open Learning Faculty Member so that he or she can easily identify your submission.
Your Open Learning Faculty Member will review your proposal, provide feedback, and approve it as the basis of Part 3 of your Project



The Final Product
Your final written response to Part 3 of the Project should summarize the articles and present your informed opinion about how the research and ideas developed in the articles you have selected have contributed to our understanding of human resilience. For instance, if appropriate, you can outline how the research ties in, extends, or continues a theme introduced in the course readings and/or video clips. Your response should be approximately 750–1,000 words (about 3–4 pages) and should cite the selected sources, using APA style.
Carefully read the research articles you have selected and summarize what you have learned from these articles. Compare and contrast the research (i.e., what similarities did you find? what differences?) and consider including common themes, such as limitations, areas in need of future research, and practical applications.

Part 4: Practical Application of Research
Part 4 builds upon your research in Part 3 on a specific area of human resilience and asks you to identify a practical application for the research. Your response should be approximately 250 words (about 1 page).
Select one of the following two options for the practical application:
• Option 1: Research Question
Suggest a researchable question that follows up on the research articles that you located. Your researchable question should have the potential to build upon the original findings of the articles you have located and extend them in an interesting and informative manner.

• Option 2: Social Policy Recommendation
Develop a social policy recommendation that would promote resilience in the at-risk population you have identified in your research. Develop a rationale for your recommendation by referring to the research papers you have located, as well as to the research from the course.
Sample Topics for Parts 3 and 4
These two sample topics identify potential areas for in-depth exploration of human resilience on an at-risk population not discussed in the module readings, along with a practical application:
1. What individual, family, and community factors are related to building resilience in elderly individuals who are at risk for social isolation? Based upon your review, what future research ought to be done?
   2. What individual, family, and community factors are related to building resilience in adults who experience a serious injury, (e.g., from a workplace accident)? Based upon your review, what future research ought to be done?
   3. Examine individual, family, and community factors that build resilience in youth who are at risk for poor academic performance because English is their second language. Suggest how government policy may be changed in order to promote academic resilience in this community.
While you are encouraged to develop your own topic of interest for parts 3 and 4, you may use or draw from one of the sample topics if you wish.

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Part A: The Evolution of Resilience Research
Research has changed quite a bit since the initial starting readings, particularly since the very early designed Werner experiment. The inception set a trend line for other research to use as a guide over the decades, as a reference post, while more information and data have been mined to support newer, and gradually more substantial findings at an ever increasing rate over the years. Therefore with these features in mind, it is the goal of this first section, Part A, to outline the initial Werner findings in a simpler form for the purpose of conciseness and clarity, and to track various other established research findings in the field of Resilience specifically to form a linkage and extend the paradigm from its early ancestry to a current, more robust form it has taken over the years.
The initial Werner study (1989) was a Resilience study aimed primarily at at-risk children to assess their viability for strength and resistance to difficulties and times of great stress or crisis. The adaptive skills these children employed came from a number of areas. For instance, the initial model pegged the children as drawing influence from personal resources from their individual inner selves, factors of influence from within the families overall, and factors completely external to the individuals or their family lives. Examples of inner risk factors include psychological stress or abnormalities. Family risk factors include features like fewer siblings or extended family to depend on for support, or separated / divorced family structures leading to lack of a central caretaker / role model figure. External risk factors include a lack of organizational support such as school or daycare or recreational center, or lack of friends or counselors to depend on for emotional support / stability. These features if addressed in their coalescence, could increase resilience, causing greater likelihood to survive crises and traumas without developing adverse behaviors or incurring great stressors and handicaps by resisting the difficulties instilled by them.
Tiet et. al (2001) also predicted the relationship between IQ and resilience. The two factors correlate positively, which could potentially be explained by the power afforded by higher mental faculties allows for more creative and successful means of managing stress and remaining strong and resilient in the face of poverty or other hardships in life. This is just one example of how the study of the concept of resilience has experienced a multifaceted evolution in the presence of advanced, cutting-edge research methods, along with edits to original theoretical models of resilience. Garmezy et. al (1984) specifically studied the early effects of stress on a general public body, but it was the Cosden et. al (2004) that really pushed boundaries and identified a new specific relevance of the concept of stress to a practical outcome on developing students. For instance, when we think of stress from a theoretical standpoint, it is entirely amorphous, incorporeal, and non-bodily. As such, the language we tend to use as we discuss stress-induced or stress-related phenomenon loses some of its significance or practical import when we frame problems of stress in that theoretical context. The Cosden et. al (2004) study is one of many studies which set a terrific precedent by progressing the concepts of stress and resilience from a mere theoretical framework to some of their empirical manifestations. For example, students identified as at-risk or exposed to trauma or hardships could...
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