ERIC Number: ED411342
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Nov
Students Who Defy the Odds: A Study of Resilient At-Risk Students. Research Brief #18.
Westfall, Amy; Pisapia, John
A study of resilient at-risk students was commissioned by the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium to identify factors that students believed contributed to their academic success. Sixty-two resilient and academically successful at-risk students from six school divisions took part in in-depth interviews. Factors identified by students were classified into thematic categories. Positive use of time and meaningful involvement in school or other activities were frequently mentioned by students as success factors. In addition, the majority articulated clear and specific long-term goals. Students' personal responses indicated that they had an internal locus of control and accepted personal responsibility for their successes and failures. The perceived influence of school and teachers was inversely related to grade level. Younger students thought that teachers and counselors played a more important role in their successes, while older students had more neutral attitudes toward school. Almost all of these students had come from dysfunctional homes, but most could name one or more persons who had been significant in helping them. These findings indicate that there are important environmental factors that influence the development of strong, resilient personalities and beliefs. Results of this study, taken with other research findings, suggest several general recommendations that will help translate the findings into help for at-risk students. Sharing information, planning and evaluating programs, selecting and evaluating personnel carefully, providing preservice and inservice education, and targeting programs carefully are important aspects of programs for developing resilience. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium, Richmond, VA.