Shiyi Chen

Date of Graduation

Spring 2012


Master of Science in Early Childhood and Family Development


Early Childhood and Family Development

Committee Chair

Joanna Cemore Brigden


resiliency, prosocial behavior, poverty, single parenting, protective factors

Subject Categories

Child Psychology


This thesis examines protective factors of a resilient child who achieved well-developed prosocial behavior. A case study design was used to study protective factors by developing an in-depth picture of resilience in the child and her family. This study was conducted in a natural classroom setting of a Head Start program. Through the use of a case study method, a structured interview was implemented with the classroom teacher, semi-structured interviews were assigned to the child and her mother, and observations of the child participant were conducted in the classroom for thirty minutes a day for five days. External data such as interviews, video tapes and observation notes were analyzed and interpreted in terms of adversity; and protective factors. The importance of external sources of support is highlighted. Research found that, the risk factors that the child participant was facing were low family income and single parenting. Protective factors such as the child's personal traits, the mentor, peer relationship and extended-family support enabled the child to thrive in the face of adversities.


© Shiyi Chen

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