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Addressing Challenges Latinos/as Encounter with the LIBRE Problem-Solving Model



Norma S. Guerra

Written for educators and professionals, this book examines the cultural challenges Latinos/as encounter as they move from one social setting to the next. Problem solving is presented as a skill, strategy, and protective factor in the development of resiliency and self-efficacy. This solution-oriented approach facilitates Latino/a personal and professional development in processing the unexpected. The book introduces the LIBRE Model problem-solving activity as the tool to negotiate positive change by (1) affirming cultural competency, (2) supporting self-regulated decision making, (3) monitoring self-engagement styles, and (4) developing resiliency toward smoother transitions. The goal is to provide the reader with partnering tools that will empower Latino/a engagement, personal management, and  active self-agency in managing decisions, challenges, and choices.
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Change replaces the familiar with new possibilities. Whether risk or benefit, the management of any change primarily falls to the individual. Self-efficacy is facilitated by the successful processing of unexpected events. For the Latino/a living in complex overlapping cultural, familial, economic, language, and educational systems, change is constant. From home to school to work, the personal changes required to efficiently negotiate these systems are multifaceted. The need for strategy in managing change is imperative. Without a scheme for addressing these continual changes, risk is introduced that can be overwhelming, leading to personal and/or professional compromise.

The Latino/a intuitively processes these stressors as a learned behavior through instruction, experience or vicarious observation. This text introduces the LIBRE Model problem-solving activity and LIBRE Stick Figure Tool (LSFT) as vehicles to the Latino/a’s negotiation of change by (1) affirming cultural competence, (2) supporting self-regulated decision making, (3) monitoring self-engagement styles, (4) scaffolding towards resiliency, and (5) allowing for more smooth transitions between cultural groups. ← ix | x →


The tone of this text is designed to call attention to problem solving as a protective factor for the development of Latino/a resiliency and self-efficacy. A chapter-by-chapter summary is included in this introduction to set the context for this text. There is value in problem-solving assessment and intervention toward increased Latino/a success. The goal is to present a picture of current and projected Latino/a achievement with an investment in the untapped Latino/a intellectual and social cultural capital.

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