Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies

First Advisor

Cheryl O. Hausafus


About a quarter of the children under the age of six are living in poverty, a factor that is highly relevant to school failure. Protective factors are individual or environmental safeguards that enhance a youngster's ability to resist stressful life events and promote resilience. There are protective factors at work in every system--individual, family, peer, school, and community;The Model City/Woodland Wilkie Literacy project was designed to increase the participants' protective factors and academic achievement. The purpose of this study was to determine if participants in the Model City/Woodland Wilkie Literacy Project exhibited evidence of protective factors and had increased their academic achievement;This qualitative research study was a single case, embedded design. The study examined the elementary grade level program of the Woodland Wilkie/Model City Literacy Project and used a variety of sources for evidence. The sample was purposive in nature. Nine participants were chosen who met the criteria of having been in the program for more than 18 months, their folios had rich and varied data, and they had the same program assistant as their one-on-one tutor. Data were collected by a program assistant working in two elementary schools throughout the duration of the project. Excerpts were transcribed from the folios into a computer file and were analyzed using Data Collector, a computer program designed specifically for managing qualitative research. The following major themes emerged from the data: increased academic skills, relationships with others, personal characteristics, and process skills;There were 264 examples of protective factors and 185 examples of increased academic achievement found in the participants' folios. The report cards indicated that only six of the nine showed an increase in academic achievement. The combination of the data from the one-on-one observation forms and the report cards indicated the participants exhibited an increase in academic achievement and protective factors;Recommendations included suggestions to design youth programs which help to increase protective factors in young people, focus on providing young people the opportunity to bond with a supportive adult, and encourage the collection of qualitative data in youth programming, especially as it relates to protective factors.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Sharon Louise Query



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

142 pages