Fostering Resilience through Strategy Acquisition and Process Praise

Fostering Resilience Poster

Authors: Jessica Salas, Breann Turner, Callie Wilde, & Miranda Zgirvach

PDF version of poster


According to Sapienza & Masten (2011), resiliency is “The capacity of a dynamic system to withstand or recover from significant challenges that threaten its stability, viability, and development” (p. 23). Masten (2001) refers to resilience as “everyday magic” because it does not come from rare or special qualities, but rather from ordinary resources that all children are capable of possessing (p. 235). That is, children can develop resilience when they learn effective strategies and receive
informative feedback. Carol Dweck (2006) notes that one type of informative feedback involves process praise, which focuses on effort, strategies, and persistence.

Interventions & Community Outcomes

Strategy Instruction

Taught lessons on:

  • Internal Locus of Control
  • Growth Mindset
  • Resiliency/Hardiness
  • Courage


  • Tutoring Math, Reading, Writing
  • Making friendship bracelets
  • Assist with art projects
  • Goal-setting & academic planning

Provided Process Praise

  • I like the way you tried all kinds of strategies on that math problem until you finally got it.
  • You kept trying even though it was hard.

Observed Outcomes

  • Youth using growth mindset phrases during academics, video games, and air hockey.
  • Youth attributed winning to practice.
  • Staff modifying praise for being “smart” to praise for “effort”,
  • Increase in youth asking for help when academics are difficult.
  • Began hearing youth say “I can do this. I just need more practice.”

WSU Student Outcomes


  • This experience has helped prepare me to be accepted into a master’s program in school psychology.
  • Instead of just reading chapters and taking tests, I’ve gotten to apply the theories and strategies I’ve learned about throughout my college career.
  • I am so glad that I had the opportunity to apply theories to the actual situations. I believe this experience will help me to get accepted into graduate school.
  • It was really awesome to see how our own personal attitudes challenges would change.

Professional & Future Plans:

  • The experience of planning and leading lessons in resiliency and growth mindset have helped me to get a promotion at work.
  • This experience solidified my desire to help with early intervention for at-risk youth and youth with disabilities.
  • This semester helped me see the need for volunteers in the community. I want to stay involved when the semester is over.
  • This was my first time volunteering in the United States. I am definitely going to volunteer in other communities.
  • I intend to continue working with youth at Youth Impact.


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