I have divided this paper on research and methodology into three
Speaking of Numbers
Excerpted Portions of Hawkins/Benard Discussion (w/ bibliography)
Excerpted Portions of a Hawkins/Benard Discussion
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At the Eighth Annual National Prevention Network (NPN) Research
Conference in 1995, the leading proponent of the risk-focused model
with the leading resiliency model proponent. It is meaningful to note
the NPN itself has adopted the risk-focused model as its preferred
So that particular model began with a bit more of an advantage because
was the "official model" of the debate sponsors.
 Bonnie Benard, the resiliency model proponent, spoke first.
works as a prevention researcher at the Center for Drug-Free Schools
Communities in San Francisco. David Hawkins, the risk-focused
is professor and director of the Social Development Research Group at
University of Washington in Seattle. Each had about twenty minutes to
and also fielded questions from the conference participants.
 Resiliency is all about relationship.
I will draw on research.
When we talk about strength-based and a spirituality-meaning-centered
that is what resiliency is about.
 My belief, which I think started a lot of the debate, is
resiliency really starts with our own-as adults who work with kids and
and communities-our own attitudes and beliefs and the way we see other
and the way we view them in our hearts. I came across this statement
Ghandi, "You must be the change you wish to see."
We have to model and be what we want kids to be.
 It starts with ourselves.
Non-judgmental truthfulness allows us to maintain our authenticity.
It was hard to show up, I was really tempted not to be here. But we all
have to speak our truth.
[Shares a Taoist story with this tag line:] "The first thing you must
do is not improve him, but to improve yourself." And I think that is
the real challenge.
I want to keep this a forum for dialogue.
You are the ones working with kids. What you take away from tonight,
will construct your own meaning of and do what you damn well please to
I applaud you for being here and caring for kids, which everybody here
 [Benard asked the participants to do an exercise.]
Question: What keeps you strong in times of stress? What keeps you
[Note: it was hard to bring group back to attention.] We never seem to
enough time to do all the talking we want to.
[Some answers to the exercise from participants: Humor, kids, friends,
prayer, perseverance, self-care, belief in what you're doing]
These are not only the things that keep us going, but we know from
studies and ethnographic studies of how kids survived adversity and how
they survived trauma; these are exactly the kinds of things that keep
going. That fosters their resiliency.
Definition of resiliency (from Robert J. Lifton, The Protean Self:
Transformation in Times of Change): "Human resilience is our innate
capacity for transformation and change." This is programmed into all
Story: A college professor had students go into the Baltimore slums and
do case histories of 200 young boys. In every case students wrote: he
got a chance. Twenty-five years later, another professor came across
first study and followed up. Except for twenty who had moved away or
176 of the remaining 180 had achieved more than ordinary success as
doctors, and businessmen. The professor followed-up further by asking
men (who had all stayed in the area) how do you account for your
In each case, the reply came with feeling, "There was a teacher."
 The teacher was still alive, so he sought her out and
the old but still alert lady what magic formula she had used to pulled
boys out of the slums into successful achievement. The teacher's eyes
and her lips broke into a gentle smile, "It's really very simple,"
she said, "I love those boys."
I think resiliency is really about love, it may sound fluffy, but
what's there. That's our challenge. If we are going to evaluate it, we
learn how to evaluate things like love and caring. That's what we got
 I think that really illustrates what is in more scientific
longitudinal studies. The power of caring relationships that convey a
of compassion. That convey to a kid that there is really unconditional
That you can look beneath acting-out behavior; look beneath the
and realize that there is a gem, and that every kid has a gift.
It is a relationship that conveys respect, high expectations, a belief
this child, this family, this person, can be all they want to be and
they can achieve their dream.
If you believe this, you give people a chance to be resources: to solve
the problem themselves. And you give them that opportunity to
 Do we really believe this: "That in every child who is
born, under no matter what circumstance and no matter what parents, the
potentiality of the human race is born again." [a quote on her slides.]
That is what we have to look at, that deep, deep, belief.
Strong relationships and opportunities to participate really create
If I had to say one thing, prevention is really about building in that
When we do that, we help give kids-and help them get in touch with-a
of meaning. They feel like they have a place, their life has a sense of
coherence. They feel that sense of connectedness.
Spiritual connectedness is really what it's about.
 How do we make this perspective fit with risk-focused
My problem is that I think they are very different paradigms. Different
world views, grounded in different assumptions and that they ask
questions, and essentially advocate different strategies.
In reading Communities That Care [Hawkins is a co-author] I
this premise: quote: "It is based on a simple premise that in order
to prevent a problem we must find out what factors increase the chance
that problem's occurrence and then find ways to reduce these risk
 The [reasoning is] that if we come to the understanding of
problem we will then know what to do about it, that if we understand
poor family management problems lead to problem behaviors-it's all in
correctional literature-then what does that tell us about what we need
do? It doesn't tell us a solution to it.
 Versus the perspective of a resiliency-focused perspective
in a developmental framework. It is based on human development and on
basic human needs. 'Cause when you look at caring relationships,
participation, we are really talking about basic human needs. Needs we
have for love, for belonging, for respect, for power. So our question
becomes, how do we meet the basic needs of kids who really aren't
their needs met.
 The risk-focused perspective says that resiliency is a
trait of some people. I see it in a very different way: that it's all
our innate capacity that we all have.
Where do we start from these perspectives? From a risk-focused, which
more of a problem-focused or pathology paradigm, versus a human
paradigm, where do we start, where does that tell us we should start in
our endeavors of working with people?
With risk-focused prevention the approach is to identify kids,
and communities so they will get extra services.
 With the resiliency paradigm-and I think this is a real
difference-we start with strengths. We start with "what are our
here as a group," whoever we are.
I have a real hard time believing that if we start with risks we are
to get to the strengths. It's real hard not to label people and not get
into some stereotypes.
 If someone is a problem, how can they be a resource, too?
Risk-focused tends to focus more on content. Resiliency perspective is
looking at the deep processes, the deep structures, that are going on
matter where we are. Even some of the wonderful programs that risk-
prevention might do, some kind of family program or whatever, still for
that program to work you got to focus on the quality of the
and the opportunities for power sharing.
 [A quote about changes in schools from Asa Hilliard:] "If
we really want to restructure our schools, we must first look deeply at
the goals that we set for our children and our beliefs that we have
them. Once we are on the right track there, then we can turn our
to the delivery system. As we have begun to do. Untracking is right,
is right, decentralization is right, cooperative learning is right,
access for all is right, and multiculturalism is right. But none of
approaches or strategies will mean anything if the fundamental
system does not fit the new structures that are being created."
 So, it's at that deeper level, it's not what we do but
we do it.
Two issues: The issue of predictability. As we know from
studies over and over we see a pattern. At least 50 percent, often
to 70 percent, of the kids coming from very serious high-risk
and trauma and adversity do become "confident, competent, caring
to use Emmy Warner's words. So that means focusing on what protective
bring is a far more predictable approach.
 Labeling. My real issue, too, also, is around the
issue of labeling. High-risk environments often become blamed
blamed families, and blamed kids. I think what happens is that we end
situating risk in people instead of in institutions. We don't look at
schools so much as high risk. We don't look at our national policies,
are doing far more greater damage by promoting poverty and racism, our
greatest risk-factors. We are situating risks in people. And we are
them as the cause of the problem that we need to fix.
 Basically, we deny people the opportunity to participate
is a major protective factor.
Resiliency gives us a sense of hope. We can't be the change we want to
if we don't have hope. Because the most we can give kids is a hope for
 [Stanton Peale quote from 1986]: "That the real mission
for those concerned with adolescent drug abuse is to create a cultural
that encourages children to value and to achieve independence,
intimacy, consciousness, activity, fun, self-reliance, health,
capacities, and a commitment to the community. There is no better
to drug abuse than an adolescent's belief that the world is a positive
That they can accomplish what they want and that they can gain
 David Hawkins:
 There is so much with Bonnie's presentation with which I
But yet I believe that it is important to use all that we know, and not
just some of what we know in moving forward if we're going to be
in preventing substance abuse.
The goal of prevention, in my understanding, is to stop substance abuse
before it starts. How can we best approach that task is our challenge.
 [Quoting Fred Garcia:] We must use all the knowledge
available to us to move prevention beyond being a movement to being a
There is and has been developed a discipline of prevention called
science in the last few years in this country. And it has been written
just in this decade. And that discipline of prevention science is based
on looking at, understanding, and using all the evidence that we can
about what predicts health and behavior problems and what inhibits the
of health and behavior problems.
 When we are talking about preventing problems before they
we must find a way to intervene in a process that has not yet occurred.
And the best approach for doing that, according to prevention science,
to identify the things that predict that problem statistically and to
to reduce those statistical predictors, and to seek to identify factors
that have been shown to inhibit the problem statistically, and to
those protective factors.
 I believe it is incorrect that we cannot keep knowledge
risk and protective factors in our minds at the same time. In fact, the
research on protective factors and resiliency was part of longitudinal
which identified both risk and protective factors and the interaction
those factors in the etiology of health and behavior problems and in
etiology of healthy development.
 Prevention science began first in cardio-vascular disease
We know that if you smoke you are at a greater risk for cardio-vascular
disease, and that if you exercise you are at a lower risk. Smoking is a
risk factor; exercising is a protective factor The combination of
on reducing risks and enhancing protective factors has reduced
disease in America by 42% in the last 30 years.
I would submit to you, that we must use the empirical basis, the
base that we have, if we are going to be effective in prevention.
 I'm not going to belabor you with this except to tell you
we know from many studies that there are risk factors not only within
but risk factors that exist within schools, within the larger
within the norms of the society, within families, within larger social
,that in fact contribute to the probability of substance abuse problems
in our society.
We also know that there are protective factors that have been
that appear to inhibit the development of health and behavior problems
in the presence of exposure to high levels of risk.
 There is a distinction between risk factors and risk
Risk factors are simply factors present in the environment or in the
that contribute to or enhance that person's likelihood of developing a
or behavior problem. That is different than risk groups-where we say
people" are at high risk. When we talk about high risk in the research
that we do, we are talking about people who by virtue of their
in this society have been exposed to high levels of many risk factors.
believe that that exposure increases their risk of developing substance
abuse problems and other health and behavior problems, geometrically.
 But there are also protective factors. And the protective
as I read the research, have been divided into three types. First,
that for the most part have been shown to exist within individuals.
 And it is very interesting that when Bonnie and I speak
resiliency how differently we talk about that word. Because resiliency,
as I read the research of Emmy Werner and Michael Ruther and Norm
is in fact a characteristic of individuals. That it is a characteristic
of being able to bounce back from difficult situations. To, as Bonnie
earlier, to be able to be flexible and responsive in situations; to
to new situations. But this is, in the research as I understand it, a
 As is easy sociability, as is intelligence, as is gender.
of which are individual characteristics. In the research of resiliency,
as I read it, that individual characteristic (1x), which some people
very naturally, and other people have less of, does appear to inhibit
development of health and behavior problems among those who have it.
There are also protective factors in the environment. One is this sense
of bonding, emotional closeness, being part of, a social group. Being
for by someone and caring about someone.
 Finally, healthy beliefs and clear standards for
exists within the groups that young people become bonded to within the
society- turn out to be very important protective factors.
And so, when I read the research, and when I hear about resiliency as
silver bullet, the single protective factor that will solve our
I become concerned, because I believe that there are multiple
factors that are important and that that individual characteristic of
is one important among them but not the only one.
 This is an issue of the norms and standards of society
it has very little to do with the individual characteristic of
There are young people who don't care about the norms and standards in
society, there are young people growing up with no sense of commitment
school. And they don't care if the school has a clear no drug use
They don't feel bonded to school.
 Creating the conditions that promote bonding is the
key essential thing we must do in prevention. We have identified three
protective factors. This is very similar to what Bonnie is advocating
she talks about a resiliency based approach. (1) Opportunities for
involvement are the first protective characteristics that must be
if we want people to become bonded to a group.
(2) The second characteristic that needs to be present is skills to be
in achieving and meeting the opportunities that are provided.
(3) [The third thing that needs to be present:] a consistent system for
recognition and reinforcement of skillful performance.
 I would suggest to you that these are particularly
when youngsters don't come into the world with the special advantage of
a resilient temperament. (3x) When they don't come into the
with the special advantage of high intelligence. It may be more
for the child who doesn't have an easy sociability and high
to develop the skills and to recognize opportunities as opportunities
therefore to become bonded in the classroom of a teacher who doesn't
 And so I would again submit to you that it is essential
we not focus simply on instilling characteristics within individuals (4x);
but that we ensure that the social groups that socialize young people
this society-families, school classrooms, peer groups, groups in the
and ultimately our communities themselves-create the conditions that
bonding and both healthy beliefs and clear standards for behavior.
 I ask you not to simply take my word for this, I ask you
look at the empirical results of research that my partner and I been
since 1981. Youngsters entering the classroom were assigned to the
group; or served as controls, and received no intervention. [By the end
of the project, there were three conditions: (1) a group of children
families who received a full six years of intervention; (2) a group
intervened with during fifth and sixth grade of elementary school, and
the control group which received no interventions. For the two
groups half of the children were living below poverty levels.]
 Reducing risk by enhancing protection, it's only two
to do at the same time. I don't think it is too hard for us to do.
We know poverty puts young people at risk, whether we want to say it or
not, it does!
 I want to show you what the results were for children who
progressing normally-some were dropouts at that time, etc. There were
conditions: a control group that go not services from the project other
than the regular Seattle School experience; a group that go the
late in their school careers, that is, only in the fifth and sixth
and the full intervention condition that got it for the entire six
of elementary school. And what I can tell you today with confidence is
prevention that seeks to reduce risk factors and enhance protective
was successful in reducing school problem behaviors of suspension and
from school, in increasing bonding to school, that is attachment and
to education and increasing academic achievement for all students in
project six years after the intervention had ended.
 In addition we found that although there were not
effects on health and behavior problems for children from high income
among that half of the sample that came from low income families, there
were significant reductions in the proportion of those who had ever
delinquent in their lifetime: 76% of the control group vs. 54% of the
treated prevention panel. [There were also significant reductions in
proportion of those who had ever been arrested (32% to 14%) and those
had ever been in a juvenile facility (24% to 10%. Other findings: lower
sexual activity and lower rates of drug use in the last year)]
 These are outcome data; these are not ideas these are
Reducing risk and enhancing protective factors has been shown to be
in 39 prevention research studies reviewed by the Institute of Medicine
at the National Academy of Science, in the book called Reducing Risks
It works. Prevention works. Risk- and protective-focused prevention
 I fear that Bonnie, in advocating for a paradigm shift,
asking us to throw out or ignore this progress in prevention. She asks
to ignore all we know about the predictors of substance abuse. And much
about what we know about the protective factors or inhibitors of
abuse in order to focus on the single protective factor of resilience. (5x)
Why is that a mistake? First of all, as unpleasant as it is to
the fact that exposure to risk factors predicts increased probability
substance abuse, we must recognize this. We can't allow ourselves to be
in denial simply because it is uncomfortable to confront the facts.
 It is like ignoring smoking when we are trying to reduce
disease and congratulating people for adopting a low-fat diet. We must
people to adopt a low-fat diet and exercise and we must also encourage
to stop smoking and thereby reduce their risks.
Further, the current evidence we have from substance abuse indicates
just building protection or resilience isn't enough. We must address
reduce risks as well.
 Even having a large number of protective factors does not
children from substance use if they are exposed to large numbers of
factors. We must do both. We must reduce risk and enhance protection if
we want to be effective.
Fred Garcia talked to us this morning about bubble gum packaged like
In my judgment, bubble gum packaged like tobacco has very little to do
resilience and it has a lot to do with the norms of our society, and it
is a risk factor and we have to minimize it or eliminate it.
 We know that easy access to guns among urban children is
risk factor for substance abuse, it has very little to do with
What I am saying to you is that resilience is only one of several
factors that must be strengthened as we also attend to reducing known
factors. (6x) Promoting resilience alone is not enough to
health and behavior problems. I would submit to you that for a child
in poverty, in a neighborhood where using and selling drugs is the
a resilient response is to become a drug dealer.
We must do more that promote resilient responses in individuals. (7x)
 I fear that focusing simply on resilience is like saying
heal thyself. Be resilient in the face of risks." We think we must
encourage resilience within individuals, but we also reduce risks in
environments. We can't ignore the societal contributions to risks.
 The third reason I think it is misguided to only focus on
resiliency, is that if there are no risk factors, that if we are going
be blind to risks, then all communities, then all individuals, should
an equal amount of preventive attention. Universal prevention is the
thing to do. There's no reason to focus prevention, and no way to
resources. Everyone should be resilient. We need to be able to provide
to those populations which have been exposed to multiple risk factors
development. And insure that prevention resource are differentially
and available in higher levels to those populations.
 Fourth, we do not have empirical evidence of the type
I just showed you that shows us and proves to us that resilience can be
created in individuals. (8x) I want to believe that it can. I am
looking forward to the studies that we can, in fact, show that
is a malleable characteristic and can be changed so that people can be
more resilient. But today we do not have that evidence. We do have
that risk factors can be reduced, that protective factors can be
and substance use and other health and behavior problems will be
as a result.
 Finally, I am concerned that the new emphasis on a
shift" is creating divisions where none need to be. The paradigm of
risk and protective factor prevention has encompassed resiliency from
beginning. I think we should avoid the very kind of labeling that we
in others. I think we should stop characterizing one approach as being
and another approach, resiliency-focused, as being positive; and
accurately what goes on in risk and protective focused programs rather
creating straw people against whom we can argue.
 We've got to come together as a fieldThey're laughing at
up in Congress, because we are like the leftists in the sixties,
among ourselves about small differences of opinion in wording and
each other that it requires a paradigm shift. In fact we have to be
the business of using everything we know to do the best job we can and
protection against substance abuse in our society.
 Comments from the floor:
 Woman #1: Risk seems to be the tool to evaluation,
is where we put our minds and our hearts to facilitate the process of
and empowerment. The third 'R' is the outcome, which is reaching our
Our personal vision and our community vision. And David, you did that
 Man #1: I value both of you taking the risk to go head to
with sharing your views on what works and where the field should be
And I also believe that this is a very resilient group right here to
the tension of the two views and personally struggling with it and
to say what makes sense and what works. We shouldn't let our theories
stagnant. I don't feel stagnant tonight at all. I believe that if we go
into this dialogue and discussion with an emphasis on what we can learn
from each other, that we're going to come out of this much stronger as
 Woman #2: My table was wondering if whether both of you
the same independent variables, really. The difference is in your
variables. Where, David, your dependent variable is a little bit death,
disease, and destruction. Just a little bit, though. And Bonnie's
variables are peace and happiness.
[One difference would affect evaluation of programs-will evaluation
at negative or positive outcomes?] The practitioners at my table felt
was important to work from the positive dependent variable because if
do the negative thing, it's the labeling problem, and so on.
 Hawkins: [in 1983 when I was funded by the office of
Justice and Delinquency Prevention], we called it then "caused-focused"
prevention. We borrowed and moved to the public health language to
those "risk factors" because we thought it was more honest and
accurate to what the data said about those predictors that we were
 Woman #3: One of the greatest dangers we have in the
is to say this is the model, this is the paradigm shift I'm going to go
for. I don't think the differences are a conflict at all, it just gives
me more on the menu. I think they can co-exist.
 Man #2: I don't think a paradigm shift is needed at all
the risk and protective factors are broad enough to encompass
 Woman #4: From what Bonnie is talking about, too many
for too many kids, while David is focusing on getting services to kids
really need it. If I were a funder and I was listening to both
I would say David has the figures to back up what he's saying, but
sounds lovely but I don't know what it's going to do. David, does it
a difference who (in terms of race identity) provides the services?
 Hawkins: It absolutely makes a difference who is
the services. We know that to be effective, prevention programs and
have to be acceptable to the population. Before they can be effective
have to be acceptableI think that services provided by someone that
can identify with, that people can bond to, that people can develop
sense of commitment and attachment to. [interrupted from the floor,
cultural sensitivity make a difference"]. Cultural sensitivity and
cultural competence is fundamental.
 Benard: Sensitivity and listening works, may not matter
much as racial identity. It was the qualities of relationship and
to participate which helped the young people get out of gangs, etc.
 Man #3: The risk and protective factor model has moved us
my area out of labeling and blaming. Instead of looking at the
youth as being the problem we looked at what can we do in the
to make it better for them. Instead of blaming the student for a lack
commitment to school, we asked ourselves what could we incorporate in
school that would raise their level of commitment, which is give them
authority over their own learning experience.
 Man #4: In my communities, David, you have done a nice
of helping our communities break down denial. To allow that we do in
have problems, that they aren't just the big city problems. When you
on a risk factor strategy as you've done that has been really useful.
 Bonnie, people have been presented with the risk factors.
were all inspired and went out to do something. But they stopped to
well, we know the risks, what do we do? That's where your piece has
so valuable, as well as David's protective factors. When you talk about
caring and support, meaningful participation, high
Bonnie, what you've done is to cause a variety of community groups to
down and say, "Oh gee whiz, we're the Boy Scouts. Are we providing
caring and support? Are we doing meaningful participation/high
for our young people?" We looked at what you talk about related to
resiliency and we said, "Gee whiz, we may or may not be in fact a
factor." Just the fact that you work with youth is no guarantee that
you're a protective factor. What I think is so rich in the discussion
resiliency and protective factors is in fact getting people to look and
say "What is it that we are doing with our young people? What is it
that we are doing in our communities? Is that in fact fostering what it
is that kids need?"
 David, in your definition of resiliency as an individual
I would say from experience working with small children, that I believe
in fact there is research out there that would support that there are a
number of resiliency skills which you can in fact teach children. That
we are just under the belief that you are born with it, that doesn't
a sense of hope in the future, if you're either born with it or you
have it. I believe that it can be taught.
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