Date of Award

4-30-2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Christopher Henrich

Second Advisor

Gabriel Kuperminc

Third Advisor

Joel Meyers

Fourth Advisor

Rose Sevcik

Abstract

This study sought to fill a gap in resilience and school climate theory. Research has found that the protective model of resilience allows resources and assets to act as moderators to protect individuals from risk. The protective model thus provides a way to understand how the school environment can protect youth from individual level risk. School climate, providing a holistic measure of the school environment may act as a resource to protect youth from risk on academic achievement. This dissertation first investigated how school climate should be defined in a longitudinal study and then hypothesized that student, parent, and personnel perceptions of positive school climate will protect youth from individual risk on grades and test scores. The study relied on elementary student data provided from a large urban school district in the southeast of the United States of America. Findings showed that school climate perceptions stay consistent over a three-year span and that the relationship of student risk on test scores or grades was not conditional on student, parent and faculty reported school climate. Other findings, limitations and applications are discussed.

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