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Fostering social–emotional resilience among Latino youth



National statistics reveal that Latino youth face significant challenges and engage in many risky behaviors that can hinder positive development and well-being, such as attempted suicide, lifetime cocaine use, unprotected sex, and dropping out of school. However, these statistics obscure the fact that many Latino youth are developing well despite exposure to significant adversity. A critical question that lies before researchers, educators, and policy makers is how to improve the health, well-being, and achievement of more Latino youth. This article considers conceptual issues related to resilience and culture, risk, and protective factors relevant to Latinos and the role schools play in promoting resilience. Special attention is paid to the building of child-based resources, such as social–emotional competencies, and social system resources, such as a caring school climate. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.