A Study of Academic Resilience among Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds

Studies of student achievement in Ireland have noted that average achievement among ‎students from disadvantaged backgrounds is well below that of nationally representative ‎samples (Eivers, Sheil and Shortt, 2004; Weir, 2001). Indeed, Sirin (2005) found that of all ‎factors examined in the meta-analytic literature, family socioeconomic status (SES) at the ‎student level is one of the strongest correlates of academic performance, while at the school ‎level the correlations were even stronger.‎

However, despite the strong link between SES and academic achievement, many ‎students from disadvantaged backgrounds are able to overcome their personal challenges ‎and become successful in school.  The available educational research calls these students ‎resilient, because they have overcome adversity to achieve academic success.  ‎Understanding how these students overcome their social background and succeed in school ‎can allow us to identify factors and conditions that could help more students succeed despite ‎the challenges they face (OECD, 2011).‎

Using data from the 9-year-old cohort of the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) study, it is ‎proposed to examine in detail the psychosocial correlates of academic resilience and the ‎processes by which they contribute to academic resilience, by creating a model of academic ‎resilience.  It is also planned to examine how these factors change over time using data from ‎the second wave of GUI which collected data on 13-year-olds in 2011/12.‎