Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Joanne Marshall



This qualitative study examined the interaction of personal and environmental factors that influenced the experiences of a student in the K-12 educational setting. The purpose of this study was to examine one person's life to determine how educators, schools systems and programs might better serve students at risk. In order to attend to this objective, it was important to examine the existing literature on the role of resilience as it relates to overcoming the challenges of community, family, school and peer/individual influences in the student K-12 experiences. Much of the available research has investigated specific factors but not as much has been presented on how we, as individuals, make sense of our experiences. Similarly, research is emerging with respect to how students transition between the various cultural settings in which they live and work. In order to understand resilience comprehensively, we must take into account risk and resilience as well as how borders are created that limit access for children and adolescents. Resiliency models and Students' Multiple Worlds Model were frameworks from which to examine risk and resilience and how these played into the overall perception of one woman's life experiences and her worldview. This narrative case study examined her experiences related to community, family, school and individual/peer factors and what role her resilience played in navigating her school experience.

Recommendations to school practitioners include consideration of the interactivity of resilience and multiple worlds influence. Further, understanding the ways resilience is developed and the ways in which a student's multiple "worlds" informs her perceptions can provide insight for educators as they design school environments to enhance student experiences and outcomes.


Copyright Owner

Linda Michelle Abbott



File Format


File Size

172 pages