Academic Resilience among Low SES High School Students

Anne K. Driscoll, University of California, Davis

High school students from low SES backgrounds are at particular risk for failing to graduate, yet many do graduate. This paper examines academic resilience, defined as graduating from high school, among these students. We examine relationships between students’ individual resources and their likelihood of graduating from high school and whether these relationships are moderated by external support from parents, teachers and peers. Using data from NELS:88, a low SES sample was created in which SES was based on family income, family structure and parental education. Three sets of individual factors are examined: academic performance, academic attitudes and psychosocial factors. External moderating influences include parents' educational expectations, teacher support, and peers’ attitudes toward education. Findings suggest that some forms of external support moderate the relationships between student attributes and the odds of high school completion but other relationships do not vary across levels of support.

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Presented in Session 21: Youth Educational Inequality