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.