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Fifth Edition of ALAS Resilience Builder

A Middle School and High School edition of ALAS Resilience Builder was created in August 2009. These fifth editions have kept the same core resilience building skills from the research versions described below; however, role play scenarios have been updated, posters added, integrated language arts activities added, and journal activities revised to reflect current knowledge about personal development.

Additionally, the curriculum utilizes recent research from neuropsychology and brain research to give students training in skills that create optimistic thinking and persistence as well as skills that teach stress management and effectively handling failure.

Study Four: The School Dropout Study

The U.S. Dept. of Education funded a five year school dropout study (ALAS). The fourth edition of Resilience Builder known now as ALAS Resilience Builder was used as the core of the ALAScomprehensive intervention.

Students received a 10 week instructional class using the ALAS Resilience Builder curriculum.

Results. In this random assignment study, because of the comprehensiveness of the intervention, the isolated effects of Resilience Builder cannot be determined. However, all counseling with the student, with parents, and with school staff used ALAS Resilience Builder vocabulary, skills and concepts to frame discussion and create plans of action. The ALAS Dropout Prevention Study had a significant positive impact on student attrition, report card grades, attendance and credits earned toward high school graduation. (Larson, K. A., & Rumberger, R. W., Technical Report, 1995).

The ALAS Dropout Prevention Study, using ALAS Resilience Builder, as a core feature of the program, was recognized as exemplary by What Works Clearinghouse.

Study Three: Youth on Parole

In 1989, the U.S. Dept. of Education funded a large study testing the effectiveness of teaching the third edition of Resilience Builder to adolescent incarcerated juveniles. In this random assignment study, the Resilience Builder curriculum incorporated an instructional model teaching skill acquisition (role play and direct instruction), skill maintenance (review and reinforcement) and skill transfer (application to real life). Youth were paroled to an inner city and tracked for 15 months.

 

 Results. This edition of Resilience Builder delivered remarkable results. Twenty-two percent of youth in the Resilience Builder program were re-incarcerated while 100 percent of the control group were re-incarcerated. Resilience Builder significantly reduced drug use and arrests for violent behavior and significantly increased school enrollment and job attainment (Larson, K. Yearbook of Correctional Education, 1989).

Study Two: High-risk Middle School Study

Results. In this random assignment study, because of the comprehensiveness of the intervention, the isolated effects of Resilience Builder cannot be determined. However, all counseling with the student, with parents, and with school staff used ALAS Resilience Builder vocabulary, skills and concepts to frame discussion and create plans of action. The ALAS Dropout Prevention Study had a significant positive impact on student attrition, report card grades, attendance and credits earned toward high school graduation. (Larson, K. A., & Rumberger, R. W., Technical Report, 1995).

The ALAS Dropout Prevention Study, using ALAS Resilience Builder, as a core feature of the program, was recognized as exemplary by What Works Clearinghouse.

Using a revised and improved second edition of Resilience Builder, a random assignment study in 1989 focused on low-income 7th, 8th and 9th grade students identified by teachers as the most difficult to teach.

To control for special attention, the Resilience Builder curriculum group was compared to a control group given a Values Clarification curriculum.

Results. All school staff and students were "blind" to the treatment and control groups. The Resilience Builder curriculum significantly improved report card grades, and misbehavior incidents (Remedial and Special Education, vol 10, no. 5, 1989).

 
Study One: Incarcerated Youth Study

The first edition development of Resilience Builder began in 1987 when the author, Dr. Katherine Larson and Dr. Michael Gerber, her colleague at the University of California, Santa Barbara, tested the hypothesis that behavior would improve for incarcerated youth if they were taught resilience skills that included social problem solving skills and impulse control skills.

Results. In this random assignment study , youth receiving the Resilience Builder curriculum significantly reduced their quantity of negative behavior reports and significantly improved staff ratings of performance goals and behavior. Importantly, a strong association was found between the youth's knowledge of Resilience Builder skills and effective social behavior (Exceptional Children, vol. 54, No. 3, 1987).

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