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Title: Young people's problem-solving skills and resiliency : the roles of executive functions and private speech in relation to resiliency
Author: Lewis, Sarah
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2010
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In recent years there has been a move towards promoting the well-being and positive outcomes for children and young people who are at risk of or identified with emotional and behavioural difficulties. There has been interest from researchers as to why some young people are able to successfully manage very difficult situations, whilst others are not able cope and may as a result impact on their well-being and overall future outcomes in life. This study aimed to explore the role of executive functions and private speech in relation to resiliency as there has been little previous research exploring these areas together. Using the knowledge of previous research and literature, two research questions were devised; in what ways might executive functioning and young people’s resiliency relate to each other and in what ways does private speech provide insight into young people’s resiliency. This quantitative research made use of a correlation design to explore the relationships between Year 7 students’ perceptions of their resiliency and their neurocognitive executive functions. This exploratory study comprised 162 Year 7 students, who completed the Resiliency Scales for Children and Adolescents (Prince-Embury, 2007) to identify the students’ resiliency profiles. A cross section of students was selected for further investigation. 28 students completed a number of computerised tests to explore their executive functions and their private speech was captured using a video-recorder. The study revealed a number of relationships with particular aspects of executive functioning identified and particular areas of the students’ resiliency. However, the extent to which these skills are related or independent of each other is not known. The counter-intuitive findings suggest that there might be other factors which contributed to such findings, including the students’ perceptions of their competency and their sense of self-worth. There appeared to be differences in students’ use of private speech dependent on their perceived personal strengths and vulnerability. In addition, identification of the students’ non-verbal communication and paralanguage enabled greater access to students’ emotional reactions to the task situations. This helped to explore the way that the students appeared to be able to cope and manage these tasks and explore their emotional regulation further. These results are discussed in light of previous literature and research evidence and implications for practice and future research highlighted.
Supervisor: Woods, Kevin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Chi.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: resiliency ; executive functions ; private speech ; problem-solving ; young people