Resilience-Building Schools for At-Risk Youth:
Developing the Social, Emotional, and Motivational Foundations of Academic Success
By Maura A. Mulloy, Ph.D.

Academic and social-emotional competencies are essential to the lifetime success of our children. How can schools that serve at-risk students build the social, emotional, and moti­vational foundations of academic success?

This important new book is designed to provide educators and school leaders with an authoritative yet easy-to-follow blueprint for creating “Resilience-Based Schools”—nurturing environments that fully address the goals of academic learning while also developing the social, emotional, and motivational foundations that are essential for learning to happen.    

Drawing on current research and from her own direct experience with kids who have thrived in these settings, Dr. Maura Mulloy provides a practical framework that gets everyone pulling together in the same direction to promote positive student adjustment and high-achievement learning outcomes.  In this book, she:

  • Explains how a resilience-based approach can significantly improve student achievement levels in low-performing schools
  • Summarizes the wide-ranging research from education, psychology, and public health that supports a resilience-based approach
  • Discloses common risk and protective factors in students’ lives—and outlines how schools can boost students’ resilience by reducing their exposure to risk while boosting protective factors in the school environment
  • Outlines step-by-step strategies to boost students’ motivation and achievement levels by reducing risk, enhancing social supports, building in emotional supports, and strengthening academic competencies
  • Provides a portrait of a resilience-building school in action, including at-risk student voices, highlighting key school elements responsible for academic turn-arounds

The resilience-based approach set forth here has many benefits.  It is an achievable approach that will have powerful effects on school climate, student behavior, and student achievement.  It is cost effective and doesn’t rely for success on expensive testing or technologies.  Perhaps most importantly, it draws strength from the inherent resilience of students themselves.  As noted educational theorists Mark Weist and Melissa George write in the book’s foreword, “student connectedness to school is such a potent resilience factor contributing to success. And here is the immense contribution of this short book. There is no other volume that so appropriately reviews relevant research literature, presents clear theoretical background, and lays out practical strategies for schools to support resilience enhancement for students.”

“Dr. Mulloy has authored a unique and transformational guide for district and school leaders alike.  Resilience-Building Schools for At-Risk Youth merges dynamic, rigorous research with practical and readily accessible recommendations for school design. Her engaging blend of real, human stories and analysis of the literature is a fresh paradigm. Illustrating her findings through anecdotes and practical recommendations, Dr. Mulloy paints a picture that can be replicated in traditional schools or systems in service of all students, not just high-need subgroups. Here is a powerful account of real student stories in the context of an actual school that exemplifies the holistic approach she proposes, and brings home the most important take away from her work: at-risk youth carry promise and potential that schools can tap in ways that empower those children to reach new heights of academic and personal development.”
 —Eugene Pinkard, Jr., District and School Administrator, Washington, DC School System

“Dr. Maura Mulloy details a resilience-building model based upon the social, emotional, and environmental development needs of at-risk students.  Its four-phase framework identifies risk factors, enhances social supports, strengthens social-emotional needs, and augments students’ academic supports.  The book is intuitively appealing, and provides the philosophical and theoretical base to support at-risk students with the resilience to overcome obstacles and succeed.”
—Barry Glick, Ph.D., NCC, ACS, LMHC, LPPC, G&G Consultants, LLC; co-developer, Aggression Replacement Training™

Resilience-Building Schools for At-Risk Youth is a valuable and timely tool for educators and school leaders working to empower youth through meaningful education.  It provides real-world application of theory from the structural to the classroom level, and illustrates practical strategies with vivid examples of school life and experience.  What is perhaps most powerful about this book is how Dr. Mulloy brings into play the voices of young people.  Through these voices, one hears firsthand how schools, teachers, counselors, and administrators can profoundly impact the lives of young people through education that goes beyond the academic. This book is essential for pre-service and in-service teachers, school leaders, and mental-health professionals working with youth, as well as policy makers considering how to design schools and programs to foster and build on the resilience youth bring with them to the classroom. By listening to the youth themselves, as Mulloy has done so respectfully, we can surely learn the most.”
—Heather H. Woodley, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Multilingual Multicultural Studies, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development

Related Publications:
Report on Emotional & Behavioral Disorders in Youth

Advances in School-Based Mental Health Interventions

Managing Adolescent Depression





Table of Contents (PDF)
Format: Hardcover Book
© MMXIV 180 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-887554-98-5
Price: US $135.95
Product Code: RBSY

Also Available in Paperback



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