Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Young People and Resiliency

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Youth and Community Studies

DESCRIPTION This unit examines the resiliency and adjustment process in normal individuals. The unit combines lectures, discussion and small group interaction. Theoretical perspectives will be presented and discussed but the primary focus of the unit will be the application of theory and research to the everyday context.

The unit will also examine the adjusting/coping behaviour of the individual in various aspects of life situations. All individuals face challenges associated with adjustment, the efforts people make to meet the demands of everyday life. The outcome is resiliency. For decades public and educational discourse has been steeped in the language of Risk. This approach has increasingly led to harmful isolating practices like stereotyping, labelling, tracking & lowering of expectations. This risk focus has also led us to seeing youth through a deficit lens and blocks our vision to see capacity and strength – to see the whole person.

Study-unit Aims

The unit aims to challenge the predominant risk focus that has traditionally been afforded youth. It attempts to highlight how deficit models of young people lead to negative outcomes and suggests that a resiliency perspective is far more promising. The units aims to discuss how the successful negotiation of risk is a resiliency promoting factor in itself.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. Understand that life is full of challenges and that these provide an opportunity to grow;
2. Gain insight into how different theorists conceptualise about resiliency and adjustment;
3. Develop an understanding of the theory and research in the social sciences relevant to the issues of adjustment for young people in today’s complex world;
4. Understand how the self influences adjustment and resiliency;
5. Comprehended the challenges of the lifecycle with focus on the period of youth;
6. Understand how social factors influence resiliency and adjustment;
7. Identify and explain the interaction of biological, psychological and environmental factors to the understanding of the concepts of stress and coping.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

A. critically engage with the subject matter;
B. develop sensitivity to the often contradictory discourse in prevalent in youth studies;
C. Apply course material to the local context;
D. be able to foster resiliency in young people and their communities.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings
(availability at the Library or otherwise is indicated against each entry)

Benard, B. (August, 1991). Fostering resiliency in kids: Protective factors in the family, school, and community. Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. [unavailable]
Feldman, R. S. (1989) Adjustment: Applying Psychology in a Complex World. US: McGraw Hill. [available]
Santrock, J. (2008) Human Adjustment. Madison: Brown and Benchmark. [available]
Lifton, R. (1994). The Protean Self: Human Resilience in an Age of Fragmentation. New York: Basic Books. [unavailable]
Zipora, M. (1998) Exploring Adolescent Happiness CA: Sage. [unavailable]
Rathus, S. & Nevid, J. (1999) Adjustment and Growth: the challenges of life NY: Harecourt Brace. [unavailable]

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%


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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.