Date of Award

Fall October 2011

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Brian P. Leung

Second Advisor

Franca Dell'Olio

Third Advisor

Karen K. Huchting


This study investigated factors promoting academic resiliency within Latino students at an urban high school in the Los Angeles area. The criteria of “on-track” to graduate served as the operational definition of academic resilience. A total of 92 students completed the survey. Of these, 57 were on-track to graduate and 35 students were “not on-track” to graduate. The California Healthy Kids Survey: Resiliency & Youth Development Module (WestEd, 2008a) was the instrument employed to obtain quantitative data using three external protective factors (caring relationships, high expectations, and meaningful participation) and three internal protective factors (social competence, autonomy and sense of self, and sense of meaning and purpose). An additional demographic section was also included.

A t-test for independent samples indicated a significant mean difference between Latino students on-track to graduate and not on-track to graduate for two of the protective factors: participants on-track to graduate reported a stronger sense of meaning and purpose and higher expectations than did Latino students not on-track to graduate. A Pearson Correlation matrix showed that each of the three primary relationship pairings was significantly correlated. A chi-square test determined that gender and on-track to graduate were found to be independent of each other, as were various Latino origins and academic resiliency. The findings revealed no significant difference between academic resiliency and household composition, languages spoken, or maternal/paternal educational level. Furthermore, Latino participants born in another country were more likely to graduate than Latino students born in the United States.