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ERIC Number: EJ881641
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-0038-0407
Academic Vulnerability and Resilience during the Transition to High School: The Role of Social Relationships and District Context
Langenkamp, Amy G.
Sociology of Education, v83 n1 p1-19 2010
The transition to high school is a critical stage in students' academic trajectories and can be especially difficult for middle school students who struggle academically. Starting high school on a low academic track and with low academic performance often leads to dropping out of high school. This study investigates what might protect academically vulnerable students during the transition to high school by exploring the potential effects social relationships and changing context have on academic outcomes in high school. As students move from middle school to high school, their social relationships are transformed. The degree to which social relationships change is in part a function of the way school districts are organized. The results suggest that middle school social relationships are protective against low academic outcomes in the first year of high school, but not for low-achieving middle school students. In addition, a district context characterized by greater reconfiguration of peer social relationships is not associated with math course placement but protects against course failure, especially among low-achieving middle school students. These results suggest implications for the way districts organize students and how contexts of school transitions have the potential to provide resilience. (Contains 4 tables, 2 figures, and 12 notes.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health