Initial Development of the Escala de Fortaleza en Jóvenes para Padres
National statistics indicate substantial mental health and academic challenges experienced by a sizable proportion of Hispanic children and adolescents in American school settings. School counselors can provide culturally responsive supports to this population and would benefit from contextually grounded, ecologically valid assessments that focus on the positive development of Hispanic children and adolescents. To address this instrumentation gap, this study sought to develop initial items for the Escala de Fortaleza en Jóvenes para Padres in both English and Spanish. A qualitative approach was implemented to explore the perceptions of Hispanic parents/caregivers of their child or adolescent's resiliency. Eight Hispanic parents participated in focus groups conducted in both English and Spanish. The participants shared their observations of how their Hispanic children and adolescents successfully navigate life's challenges while highlighting the supports they have in this process. A diverse research team engaged in constant comparative analysis that resulted in the following four themes: welcoming and challenging school environment, family support, community impact on discrimination, and benefits of religion. These themes provided content for 27 initial items developed for the future instrument. The findings suggested that schools and communities are places that promote or constrain resiliency of Hispanic children and adolescents. Furthermore, family interactions and religious practices strengthened Hispanic children and adolescents' abilities to face obstacles within their schools and communities. Implications for school counselors and future item development, limitations of the study, and potential areas for future research are discussed.
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