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Traumatic Pasts But Hopeful Futures: Resilience and Positive Youth Development in the Context of School-Based Mental Health


East Baltimore
Summer Inst. term
Mental Health
1 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method:
Synchronous Online
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Laura Clary
Frequency Schedule:
One Year Only

Historically, public health research and practice has focused on risk factors that predict negative mental health outcomes for adolescents; however, it is important to examine resources that vulnerable youth (e.g., youth exposed to trauma) can use to mitigate challenges and develop positive mental health. Research on resilience and youth development provides a pathway for at-risk youth to successfully navigate personal and system-level challenges. Prevention and intervention programs focused on the enhancement of positive assets may be particularly critical for youth who live and attend school in under-resourced communities and youth of color impacted by systemic racism.

Introduces research on resilience and youth development that addresses adolescent mental and behavioral health for at-risk youth using the definitions, theories, and measurement of resilience. Focuses on how a framework of positive youth development can inform school-based, universal interventions to build youth resilience, promote self-efficacy, and reduce disparities in youth mental health. Includes discussion of how we can use these frameworks to address mental and behavioral health inequities are exacerbated by the COVID-19 epidemic and protests against structural racism and police brutality.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe common risk factors in adolescent mental health, including structural racism, and describe basic theories of risk.
  2. Define resilience, and describe theories and measurement of resilience
  3. Describe the positive youth development framework
  4. Apply the positive youth framework to mental health promotion and prevention programming in vulnerable youth populations, including addressing collective trauma due to COVID and structural racism
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 30% Discussion Board
  • 30% LiveTalks
  • 40% Final Paper

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

Students are required to complete readings prior to the start of the course. Please see the CoursePlus site for additional details.