Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School Psychology


The purpose of this ex post facto quantitative study was to examine the relationship between the academic optimism of schools and academic resilience in urban Latino high school students attending those schools. This study sought to address three research ideas. First, it was hypothesized that, consistent with previous research, student achievement is related to the level of academic optimism of schools. A second purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between academic achievement with academic resilience for students with multiple risk factors, specifically, Latino students from low SES backgrounds attending an urban high school. Thirdly, it was hypothesized that academic optimism works by increasing student engagement, which in turn increases academic achievement of students. The subjects were 160 low SES Latino high school students and 47 teachers at three campuses of a charter high school in Chicago. A measure of academic optimism of the school was obtained from teachers. Measures of parental involvement, school engagement, overall resiliency, and academic achievement were obtained from the students. GPA, achievement test scores, attendance, and discipline records were obtained from school records.

Quantitative data analyses were utilized to examine the relationships between academic optimism, school engagement, and academic resilience, while controlling for the influence of family-related and personal protective factors. Significant relationships were found between academic optimism of schools and academic resilience of students, even when family-related and personal protective factors were controlled for. This study adds to the growing body of research that suggests that schools can serve as protective factors for low SES Latino students.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.